How to Stay Safe Online – General Advice and Tips
Viruses, ransomware, scams, identity theft and loss of digital information are becoming more and more common as we move towards a digital age.
With digital security becoming more apparent, it is very important to adopt a good habit in keeping yourself and your family safe online. Below are some basic tips and hints to protect your identity, files and your personal device.
Keep your computer, smartphone and tablet clean
- Keep your device up to date with the latest software
Software updates provide enhancements and security updates.
- Keep your security software (anti-virus) up to date
Security software needs latest virus definitions to identify new and emerging virus / malware. Yes, even Mac's and smartphones needs security software.
- Scan external devices (USB)
USB and external devices can carry virus from infected devices onto yours. Make sure you enable external device scanning to ensure it does not get onto your computer
Be very web savvy online
- Watch out for dangerous links and attachments When there is doubt, delete it. Links / attachments in emails, tweets, SMS, posts and advertising are way cyber criminals can compromise your device. If its suspicious or too good to be true, delete it, block or mark it as junk.
- Check for trusted websites
When banking online or shopping, ensure they have SSL (secure socket layer) security. SSL protects passwords and your banking information securely.
- Beware of Phishing
Phishing is a way for cyber criminals to mask legitimate site with their own to steal your confidential login. Do not click on any requests to verify your password unless you requested it.
- Risks with public Wi-Fi Hotspots
Adjust your security level on your device when accessing public networks. Your device firewall and anti-virus can detect and adjust automatically when connecting to different networks. Turn off your Wi-Fi to public networks when you do not need to use it anymore.
Protect your personal information
- Keep your password complex
Do not use generic password. Keep it complex with the combination of upper case / lower case characters, numbers and symbols. If it's too hard to remember, use a secure password manager to keep track.
- Use Two Step Verification
Two step verification will make it more difficult to access you online presence. If a cyber criminal has your password, they will be stopped if they do not have access to your other devices and accounts.
Back it all up
Backup your data, photos, documents, video and other digital information and store it securely.