Would you agree that we live in one of the most exciting times in history, ever? Of course, every century has its challenges, but technology—especially the internet—has transformed how we live, shop and work.
Regarding tech, a popular topic is security. When last did you check whether you’re practicing safe online habits? Let’s summarize the 10 most important tips to stay secure online these days.
Proper Passwords Please!
Experts mention this often: passwords. You need to pick different passwords for different websites you register on. Why? Because, if you only use one, all your accounts can get hacked if a cyber criminal happens to figure out just one platform’s access codes.
Not used to remembering multiple passwords? There are apps for managing that!
Antivirus is Necessity, not a Gimmick
DON’T take a chance and leave your PC without some sort of shield. One day you may download a file that seems innocent, but contains software that accesses your private information, which can then be used by criminals. Antivirus software warns and protects against all these scenarios.
Multiple Email Addresses Equal Efficient Security
Prevent getting spammed by creating an alternative email address, not linked to pages such as your bank or work information. Use this to sign up for new accounts. While you determine whether a new site is safe or not, at least cyber criminals can’t gain access to personal details through your new account.
Learn New Browser Habits
For work and entertainment you may spend hours online every day. While browsing, these habits are essential to prevent hackers from accessing your personal details:
- Clear your cache often.
- Never save passwords on any page.
- Learn to identify advertisements with links created for the sole purposes of persuading you to access a page and enter your details. It’s called clickbait and the end results can be malware installed on your computer.
Getting Up for Coffee? Then Close that Device!
Some may call you paranoid, but we prefer the terms ‘cautious’ and ‘prepared for any eventuality’. To play it safe at the office, learn these new habits:
- If you step away from your desk, shut down your computer or place it in a sleep mode that will continue until you enter your password. You never know who in the office may want to hurt you or the company. Don’t let them use your technology to put their plan into action.
- Place devices such as USB drives out of sight so no one is tempted to take them. If there’s sensitive information on, you don’t want to be held responsible for it being leaked.
- Use passwords and fingerprint access features for your mobile devices so others can’t access your SmartPhone without you knowing about it.
Choose Security Questions Wisely
Security questions are additional ways of keeping your account safe. Usually you can choose which questions you want to answer. Rather pick the ones for which no one else can guess the answer; and make sure you don’t accidentally reveal the answers—such as your favorite author—on your social media pages.
Think Twice Before Doing ANYTHING on Social Media
That brings us to the next tip: be careful with social media interactions:
- Don’t accept all friend requests, because it may be a hacker trying to find out personal details in order to figure out your passwords.
- Also don’t post about everything you do, because criminals may use this to gauge your weekly routine and then break in when you’re not at home.
Yes, your online actions can affect ALL aspects of your life.
Schedule Software Updates…Regularly
We’ve mentioned antivirus programs and of course you need to keep them up to date. But also update your other software often, because updates often include security features.
Think Twice About the Networks You Use
Here’s one of the perks of living in this day and age: you’re bound to find free Wi-Fi all over town. But some networks won’t have any security features, which puts you at risk. Ideally, have a VPN in place if you need to use the coffee shop’s free Wi-Fi for browsing online.
Email Danger is Real
Email has been around for a while but it’s definitely not an outdated communication method. It’s popular and that means hackers will try to use it for criminal activity.
For safety’s sake: if you don’t know who sent you the message, don’t open it.
Don’t be naïve about the dangers that come along with every exciting development humankind comes across. Revise your habits and see which of these you need to incorporate this year. Let’s all stay safe!