Top 10 Tips for Staying Protected Online

Categories: Internet Security | Posted on Sep 22, 2016

 

The entire issue of Web Security can be complex and overwhelming, and this is why some people tend to overlook this issue altogether. In this article we have broken down the topic of web security into tips that you can easily use, and understand.

  1. Get into the habit of creating new passwords for everything you do online. This includes banking, emails, PayPal account, membership accounts and more. Make sure they are unique and are not too simple and easy to hack or guess.
  2. Frequently change your passwords, once every two months at the very least is recommended. Make your passwords hard to guess by making them long. Include a variety of letters, symbols and numbers, some with capital letters. Don’t use a single word as this is easier to guess.
  3. Keep any programs that you use up to date. This includes programs such as Java, Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader, accounting programs etc. If you have unused software then uninstall it. The fewer programs you have on your computer reduces your chances of being attacked.
  4. Invest in a good anti-virus and keep it updated. Look for a program that protects you from spyware, malware and viruses.
  5. Be careful of what websites you visit. Look for those that use a hypertext transfer protocol (http) with an “s”, https://. This protocol actually authenticates the website and the web server, giving you added protection.
  6. Be careful when opening your emails. You should never open any email that comes with an attachment from an unknown source. This is one of the most common ways to infect your computer. Get into the habit of reading the headline of your email. If they don’t sound right, or are just one word, then be cautious. If the email says a friend sent it, check with them first before opening it.
  7. Hackers love to get you to click on something. Watch out for popups that suddenly appear telling you that you have won a free gift or prize. You will end up with far more than you bargained for!
  8. Another pop up that often appears while you are surfing are those that tell you one of your programs needs updating, or that you have a virus. If you click on them you will be asked to download a program to fix the issue. Before you realize it your computer has just been attacked.
  9. Be careful where you purchase Apps from. Try to stick with the main stores or the original company, as smaller online storefronts could be a front for hackers.
  10. Another area to be careful of is when downloading free software. They will often want you to download other free “gifts”, which can contain viruses or have unexpected side effects. Always download from a reputable site such as the manufacturer’s site or GitHub, Sourceforge, etc.

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