Take these small steps to improve your cyber security and stay safe online.
- Be Cautious When Connecting to Wi-Fi
When setting the password (sometimes shown as passphrase or pre-shared key) for your home or business Wi-Fi, ensure you use a strong password to protect your network and prevent intrusions. You want to keep your Wi-Fi router up to date and name it strategically, so hackers won’t know it’s yours. When connecting to public Wi-Fi, confirm your connection is safe. Know who or what you are connecting to because criminals sometimes set up fake Wi-Fi hotspots so they can hack your device and steal your personal information.
- Protect Your Online Presence
When entering your information online, be careful to check what is and what is not necessary to disclose. Be especially careful when filling in forms to get something for free. Understand who you are giving your personal data to and whether you trust them. Check the privacy and security settings on each of your devices to your comfort level for information sharing. Know what data your devices collect and how it is managed and stored. My recent post We need to talk about your passwords again! will help you understand why you should keep you personal data protected.
- Two-Factor Authentication
Sometimes having a unique password is not enough. If your password isn’t really strong, hackers may be able to guess it or answer your security questions correctly to reset it. Instead, consider using a two-factor authentication as it adds a second level of protection. This usually means that to get access, you need a password and something else, like your fingerprint or a different device such as your phone. If you use Apple devices, you can increase your safety as well as the safety of your small business by using the Two-Factor Authentication for Apple ID in your settings. Google and Microsoft also have two factor authentication options.
- Defend Your Computer Systems
There are a few things you can do as an everyday user to protect your computer. Ensure your operating system and anti-virus software is up-to-date. Be careful when opening attachments or links from someone you don’t recognize as it may be a virus. It’s not a good idea to leave your computer on 24/7. Not only is it more secure, you can also save some energy if you have make sure all your PC’s go to sleep when they are not in use after-hours. You should also not allow any automatic logins. That’s just almost as bad as having no password as it makes it easier for hackers to get into valuable information stored on your device. Read 4 Golden Rules for Keeping your PCs and Data Safe for more advice.
- Be a Smart Social Media User
Remember, once you post something online, it’s permanent. When using social media sites, be selective about what you share and who you accept friend requests or messages from. Don’t overshare on what you’re doing or where you check-in. Sharing your exact location makes it extremely easy for predators and criminals to find you. It’s vital that you share these tips with our children as well. Social media has become the hacker’s best tool for finding out the answers to those security questions. If you give that information away, they are one step closer to getting into your accounts.
Facebook has a useful Privacy Checker tool you can use to understand what you are sharing and who you are sharing with.
The internet can be a great place to learn and have fun but can be equally scary and dangerous. By practicing these cyber security tips, you can become a vigilant online user. At Computer Troubleshooters, we offer a full suite of IT Security Solutions including anti-virus protection, spyware & malware services, spam controls, employee monitoring, router and firewall solutions, and mobile security services. To make sure your business is protected, contact Computer Troubleshooters North Staffs!