We all love what the internet does for us – like connect us to friends and family wherever they may be and give us access to any kind of entertainment we’re looking for. But most of don’t want to think about what the internet can do to us – like expose us to hackers, viruses, malware, and phishing scams. Ignoring these threats won’t help, but we’ve got some tips that will.
With some simple precautions, you can keep your computers and personal information safe.
- First of all, keep your software (especially your antivirus software) and operating systems up to date. Many of these updates include security patches and bug fixes that eliminate vulnerabilities that can compromise your privacy and information.
- Use strong passwords, and use a different one for every site/account you have. Strong passwords utilize a mix of letters (both capital and lowercase), numbers, and characters. You may also want to use two-step authentication processes to add another layer of security to your accounts. While you shouldn’t ever write passwords down, password managers can be used as a secure resource to keep track of them.
- On social networks, be aware of what you’re sharing and with whom your sharing it. Don’t accept “friends” that you don’t actually know. These people can find out information like where you live, work, or go to school that can grant them access to more valuable information.
- Don’t click on suspicious links or attachments on emails. Double check website addresses for spelling and authenticity before going there, especially if what you’re doing on these sites requires sensitive information.
- Activities that require sensitive information, like banking or shopping, should always be done on your own devices and only on networks that you trust.
- Look out for phone calls or emails requesting sensitive personal information. Just say no, and call the organization in question directly to verify the request is actually coming from them.
- Finally, never leave your devices unattended. This may seem obvious, but it bears repeating. Be sure to use the time-out and lock-screen functions on your computer, tablet, or phone. And if you keep any personal information on devices like flash drives or external hard drives, make sure they’re always kept in a secure place.
No one is immune to online threats, but with the right precautions and an awareness of the dangers out there, you can minimize the likelihood of these threats affecting your life.
Safe surfing to you all.