By using strong passwords, avoiding risky links, backing up your data, and other measures, you can help keep yourself safe online. Here are our top eight suggestions for being secure online.
1. Avoid opening unsolicited Emails.
You don't even need to download files from a phishing email with malware attached for it to harm your home network. Malware can be installed on your hard drive without your knowledge or consent during drive-by downloads.
Even the most tech-savvy among us can fall victim to drive-by downloads, which can occasionally pass for routine system updates or other innocent "yes / no" questions. It's a good idea to avoid opening any emails from addresses you don't recognize because of this.
2. Verify that your software is up to date.
Turn on automatic updates for your devices, web browsers, and security software right away if you haven't already. Updates frequently include critical patches for any security flaws found in your software or devices.
3. Employ secure passwords.
Using strong passwords is one of the many ways you can guard against identity theft online. Unfortunately, many continue to use passwords like "password" or "12345678." The names of your children or animals, as well as their birthdays, should not be used.
The best password is one you can remember but won't be easy to crack by anybody else, including software. A passphrase, or condensed sentence, is frequently preferable to a single word with added numbers and symbols. Additionally, a password manager can assist you in creating different passwords for each of your online accounts. Change your passwords multiple times a year for added security.
4. Make use of two-factor authentication.
After entering your username and password to log in, two-factor authentication asks you to confirm your identity. You may occasionally be required to input a code delivered to your phone by text message or email to confirm your identification. You could also be required to respond to a security question. Opt in to two-factor authentication whenever it is offered. It might take you a few seconds longer to log in, but it can decrease the likelihood that other people will also be able to log in to your accounts.
5. Avoid clicking on links that seem odd.
Clicking on a link from a familiar source is a common way for viruses and other types of malware to proliferate. If a trustworthy friend or member of your family sends you a link that seems off, such as one with typos, get in touch with them and find out if the connection was given on purpose. It might take a while until you can watch that amusing viral video, but it's better to be safe than sorry.
6. Steer clear of unprotected public WIFI.
Avoid using unprotected public Wi-Fi on your devices, if at all possible. Utilizing it puts you at risk for exploitative tactics. If you must use it, stay away from entering sensitive data on any websites, such as your bank information. The best option is to browse via a VPN, or virtual private network, when you're away from home. Your data will be encrypted as a result, making it considerably more difficult to intercept.
7. Consistently create data backups.
You might not be able to recover your data if you fall victim to malware, such as ransomware. Unless you've backed up your data, that is.
You can lessen the impact of some security breaches by backing up your data. If you backed up your data a week ago, it won't be a big concern if a hacker encrypts it and demands a ransom to decrypt it.
8. Use financial information carefully.
Be careful where you enter sensitive data online, such as your credit card number. Make sure the URL of a website begins with "https://" before making a purchase there. The "s" at the end, which denotes that your connection is encrypted, is crucial. Never make a purchase from a website that lacks this. Additionally, even if you shop there frequently, you should consider twice before saving your financial information to websites you use to make purchases. If they store your information on their website, it can be simpler for hackers to gain access if their network or website experiences a data breach.
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