Online Security Basics Everyone Should Implement

May 01, 2020

Some online security basics may seem like no-brainers: not leaving a list of passwords lying around, avoiding clicking on pop-up ads, not sharing credit card through non-secure sites. But we’re all using the internet for so much these days, some of these commonplace items may start to fall off our radar. We need to be paying constant attention to even the smallest details of online security, on top of making smart choices like opting for a private paid email provider or an secure email services with the toughest possible protections, in order to stay ahead of cybercriminals, data breaches, and more.

Here are a few online security basics to keep in mind to help you stay safe on the internet while safeguarding your digital activity and profile personal:

Do the updates: Many of us ignore the alerts on our computers or mobile devices to update our software, not wanting to disrupt what we’re doing or learn new features for our apps. That’s a mistake, as updating operating systems for our internet-connected phones, for instance, allows us to have the most up-to-date security features. So, when the update alerts start cropping up, pay attention immediately.

Don’t “allow access”: When playing a game or reading an article online, you may have encountered pop-up boxes asking if you want to “allow access,” and many of us, who are used to immediate gratification, immediately click through in order to get back to what we’re doing. That can be a costly decision, however, as even on popular sites like Facebook, you don’t really know who you’re giving access to, what information they can see and how they’re going to use it. Carefully read any fine print before clicking “yes.”

Do vary your password: This is one of the most well-known online security basics, but also one of the most commonly ignored – make a secure password. Using a birthday, child’s name or other information that’s easy to remember can help you not get locked out of your accounts—but it can also give criminals easy access to those same accounts. If one site has a breach and your data is stolen, those cyber thieves can easily try this password and guessable variations of it on other sites—and if you don’t use different passwords, they just might be successful.

Don’t overshare: In these days of social media, oversharing is common, but it can also be dangerous. Especially if you’re using non-secure WiFi—which you shouldn’t do in the first place—posting personal pictures on social media, checking in to different locations and more can all help those with malicious intentions to build a profile of you that can be used to hack your accounts and steal sensitive information.  

Do back up your data: It’s an unfortunate reality that you can never be sure if and when your data may be lost or stolen, so it’s always a good idea to ensure you have control over a separate backup location. If your information is compromised, you want to know at least you have secure files elsewhere in order to minimize the harm

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