As the use of technology in busines and personal lives increases, every day so does the need to enhance your level of online security. Poor online security can make you, your family, or your business vulnerable to online attacks, hacking, crimes, or even expose you to potential physical danger. To help minimize your risk when online consider some of these tips.
Keep personal information limited
Think very carefully about the information you share online. Important information such as your date of birth, email addresses, phone numbers, and of course home address should not be regularly disclosed online. You may also want to limit how much you share about your personal life on social media for example. Potential employers don’t need to know your relationship status and clients may not want to see you partying on a Friday night. Consider whether you really need to use the ‘check in’ function at all times and whether you really need to share snaps of the outside of your home or kids’ school for example. Think carefully about how much of your life you divulge to the world because once it is out there it is hard to take it back.
Keep privacy settings turned on
Did you know your web browser and smartphone have settings that can protect your privacy online? By turning these settings on you can help reduce the risk of hacking, which is important as a lot of private information can be stored on web browsers such as bank details and log-in details. You could even consider using a VPN, a virtual private network, which protects your online privacy by encrypting all of your internet traffic. If this is something you want to consider then here is a comparison of the best VPN services available. Don’t forget that turning your privacy settings on extends to social media platforms such as Facebook. These channels all have built-in privacy settings so be sure you are au fait with what you are and are not sharing.
Be mindful of downloads
One of the easiest ways a cybercriminal can gain access to your system is by tricking you into downloading malware. This malware will often be used to steal information. Malware can be disguised in many ways, it could be an app, link, or even a game. If anything looks suspicious or you do not know what it is then air on the side of caution and do not download it.
Choose strong passwords
This is such a simple tip but one commonly overlooked by users. A weak password is a huge vulnerability online but one that is easily rectified. Do not use passwords that are affiliated to you in any way, avoid important dates, children’s names, or memorable places. Use a variety of regular case and upper case characters, numbers, and special characters. It is also a good idea to change your passwords regularly and enable two-factor identification where possible, apps such as Authy can make this possible. You can also set up some online accounts to notify you whenever someone logs into your account, should you receive a notification of a log-in you are not familiar with then make sure you act upon it.