With the growing threats of spam, phishing scams, identity theft, and more, the Internet can seem like a dangerous place. If you are not properly equipped, you could fall into a hacker’s trap. Don’t worry though, we’re here to give you the tools to stay safe and secure online. Below are our top 8 tips for staying safe online.
- Don’t click on links from people you don’t know: If you receive an email or message from someone you don’t know, there is a high chance that they are trying to catch you with a phishing scam!
- Create safe and secure passwords: Is your password strong enough? Simple passwords can be beaten by hackers in minutes (sometimes even seconds!). A strong password contains a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and punctuation marks. A longer password is also more secure. A trick to creating long and strong passwords is to use a phrase instead of just a single word. Be sure to use different passwords for different sites too!
- Change your passwords periodically: Many online services will prompt you to change your password periodically. If a service is not asking you to change your password from time to time, you should still do it! It is a great habit to develop and it will help keep you protected from malicious users online trying to access your accounts.
- Lock down your Wi-Fi: Is your Wi-Fi using a strong and secure password? It’s not enough to use strong passwords online; you should use good password etiquette for all your devices, connections, and accounts.
- Be careful with social media sharing: These days, most people use social media accounts to share updates on their day-to-day lives. While social media has made us closer than ever, it has also created new security issues. Be careful with your online sharing, especially when it comes to your personal information. Someone who can access information such as your birthday or pet names could use it to figure out your passwords or answer your security questions.
- Secure your mobile devices: Lock down your cell phones, tablets, and laptops with a login password. Many devices will allow you to set up a lock screen where you can use a PIN, fingerprint, or facial recognition to unlock your device.
- Download from trusted sources: It’s easy to download the latest patch or software online, but many computer viruses are disguised as trustworthy downloads. Don’t click on links for downloads from people or sites you don’t know or trust. When downloading apps on your phone, be sure to check the reviews and only download from trusted sources.
- Keep your devices up to date: When a device gets an update, it can sometimes (but not always) be because the manufacturer identified a security flaw. Stay safe and be smart by keeping your devices up to date to the most current version of software and firmware.