Stay Smart Online

Stay Smart Online

14 March 2019

Ahh, the joys of connected life! It provides us with the opportunity to engage, to be educated, entertained, and to shop with ease. The Internet has changed our lives in countless positive ways, but unfortunately, all of this goes hand in glove with threats from criminals.

In this digital age, almost everything we interact with on a daily basis is dependent on the Internet. Personal data is being transmitted across what is at times a public landscape. So, whether you love to shop, seek out new information, or keep in touch with friends on social media; protecting your private information from viruses, spyware and hackers, should be top priority.

The proliferation of devices from smartphones and tablets to the Internet has opened us up to great risks. With hacks, scams, malware and much more, well, the Internet can feel like a dangerous place. Truth is, fraudsters will always be on the lookout for ways of getting access to your personal information.

Fortunately, by taking a handful of security measures we can reduce our exposure to all these threats to keep us safe. Or, uh, safer:

  • Choose a complex password and do not use the same password for all your accounts. Best advice: use a password manager to help you store and create passwords for all of your accounts.
  • Don’t allow your browser to remember your login details. It is much safer to reenter your details every time you log on.
  • Keep your operating system and all your software up to date. Get the latest anti-virus, anti-spyware and Firewall software. It may be tempting to close popups reminding you of new updates, but this will help to protect you against the latest security vulnerabilities. Turn on automated software updates on all your apps – this applies to your antivirus software, email apps, browsers and so on.
  • Be careful when accessing public WiFi. This is a breeding ground for hackers to access your personal data. So, before you connect to the WiFi at your favourite coffee shop, turn off “file sharing” on your computer and remember, don’t sign into anything requiring a password unless you’re connected to a VPN. High strength VPN encryption protects not only your web browser but everything you do or see online; whether you’re at home, the office, a cafe, or travelling the world.
  • Many online threats are based on phishing. Free offers and online quizzes are all tactics to entice you to click on dangerous links or give up your personal information. This is one of the most common portals for criminals to capture your details.
  • Always verify that the website you are on is safe. Check that the URL begins with “https” – the “s” stands for secure.
  • Never open suspicious links or attachments. Hackers often send dangerous malware by hacking someone’s email account and sending emails to the victim’s contact list.
  • Don’t plug strange things into your computer. Not only can malware spread through virtual means – but it can also be spread through hardware.
  • Only download apps from 100% trusted sources.
  • Turn on a device location or use a third-party anti-theft app in case something happens.

By implementing these tips you’ll keep your personal information a little more “personal” as you enjoy the best parts of the digital world.


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.

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