The Importance of Internet Security
Create Strong Passwords
Never have a password that is either your name, birth date, or other revealing information that hackers can use against you. Instead, choose a smarter and harder password comprised of six characters or more, using numbers, special characters, and capital letters. A great example of a difficult password, that you should consider but not use, is HaPp1N3Ss.
Don’t Use Recurring Passwords
Although it may be easier for you to remember one password for all your accounts, it leads to an increased risk of a hacker accessing all your accounts. Try using password tools such as LastPass or KeePass to help you create and remember different passwords across all your accounts. These apps not only store passwords for you but also create a variety of hard-to-guess passwords that will leave hackers stumped.
If you use an online bank or storage account and it offers a two-step verification process, opt in — it can make your accounts safer.
Only Use Sites With a Secure HTTPS
Only use URLS that begin with ‘https://’ because they use both Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) with Transport Layer Security (TLS). This means that your online identity will be better protected and encrypted in online sessions. If you fail to use HTTPS and use HTTP instead, hackers can gain access to your online information.
Use VPN Encryption
Using VPN encryption can help protect you in your Web browser, as well as your online bank accounts, online conversations, and online assets. No matter what you do, say, or listen to online, having a secure VPN is incredibly important to keep your data encrypted and out of harm’s way.
Be Careful of Phishing Scams
Phishing scams are one of the easiest ways to lure you into revealing private information to scammers. They take the form of e-mails, websites and businesses and require you simply click on a link for them to access your online identity. How can you avoid them altogether? By only clicking on links that are secured, you can protect yourself from phishing scams. Generally, if it looks dangerous don’t click on it!
Make Sure Your Software and Operating System Are Up-to-Date
Developers regularly update their products to make them better and safer. Though those popup reminders can be annoying, you should not ignore them. Try to make it a habit of updating everything as soon as you get the notification. This process is even easier on your Smartphone and tablet. You can turn on automatic updates for these devices so that all of your apps will update as soon as there is a new version. If you do not update your software, apps, and operating system, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to security threats.
Use Ad Blockers, a Firewall, and Virus Protection
These are necessary protections that you should have installed on your computer. They all provide an extra layer of security that will keep out any viruses, adware, spam, spyware, and more. Do some research to determine the best products to meet your needs.
Be Wary of Public Wi-Fi Networks
Though a free and open Wi-Fi network may seem like a godsend, it can pose a lot of risks to your personal data. When on an open network, a hacker may be able to access your computer or other device and intercept your data. Before you hop on to free, public Wi-Fi, be sure to turn off file sharing on your laptop. You should also refrain from signing into anything that requires you to enter a password.
With these few simple changes, you can make sure your personal and private data is safe from prying eyes. Doing just one of these things can make the difference between safety and having your identify stolen.
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