10 things you should do to be safe online.
Getting online and surfing the world wide web is cool and exciting as information is available to you and ready at a moment’s notice. It is getting easier and more convenient for everyone to take your favorite electronic devices along with them and hop on the Wi-Fi. As devices become smaller, thinner and more portable, it is also becoming the norm for a business to offer free Wi-Fi. So, below I have constructed a short easy to remember checklist on how to keep your devices and information safe.
Make sure that you use complex passwords.
A good password should at a minimum consist of two uppercase, two lowercase, two numbers, a minimum of 10 characters, and two special characters.
Change your password often.
In order to keep hackers at bay, you should change your password like every week or monthly….is that realistic, not really. So, you should make it a habit to change your at least password every four to six months.
Using two-factor authentication.
Two-factor authentication is when you use a second method to verify that you are who you say you are. For example, if you have two-factor authentication enabled on your Gmail account you may notice that when you log in to your account from a new device, Google will send you an email to your alternate email address or a text to the number on file with a code for authentication.
Keep your data backup.
Keeping an external hard drive is vital for your important documents and software. If you are not into having several devices laying around, then you can buy some cloud space.
Tape up your laptop’s camera.
Hackers now a day have the ability to hijack your computer’s camera and are able to view your personal surroundings so keep it covered.
Use virus protection on your device.
Having a monthly subscription could be cumbersome and at times may seem like an unnecessary expense. But it will cost more to repair your life back if your personal information gets hacked or you download some tainted software. So, do your future self a favor and get and keep virus protection on your device.
Update your devices.
‘Patch Tuesday’ is Microsoft’s day to send patches out to their devices and Apple sends regular updates as well. Don’t be guilty of putting this off as it may take some time for the update to run, but it is needed, and it keeps your devices safe.
Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks.
If you must use public Wi-Fi, make sure that you use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to secure your data usage from prying eyes.
Be cautious of suspicious emails.
A good rule of thumbs is that if it looks suspicious or weird then it probably is. If you receive a gift card offer via email from someplace like Amazon just make sure that you check to the origin to verify that it is coming from Amazon. You should perform this check with all of your emails.
Keep your devices physically secured.
In some organizations, your IT staff may issue you a laptop with a locking cable and key. This can be cumbersome at times and at no point am I suggesting that you should do this with your personal devices. So, what I am suggesting is that you stay clear of foreign USB devices, have a strong password set on your computer, and keep a close eye on your device. If you take your device out in public, make sure that you keep it with you at all times.
Stay safe out there.