The internet provides us with access to endless entertainment, and makes business transactions feel seamless. With all of this convenience comes risks. Bad actors are always present, but we all have the ability to take control of our online safety. Here are some security tips and tools to keep you safe online.
Online Safety Tips
- Use complex passwords – and never reuse them. Always use multi-factor authentication (MFA) if it is available.
- Be wary of public WiFi – your mobile cell connection (think hot spot) is more secure.
- Think before you click! Malicious links/sites are a common way to spread malware.
- Don’t overshare – the internet does not forget. Beyond embarrassing posts, be careful when sharing your real time location – crooks could take advantage of this information.
- Only shop at reputable online retailers. Look for reviews, and always make sure the site uses encryption – look for https or a padlock in front of the URL.
- Use automatic updates. Make sure all of your software is set to automatically update so you receive the most recent security patches.
Online Security Tools
- Password managers are a great (and typically free) tool to avoid reusing passwords. The better ones can even generate strong passwords for you.
- Multi-factor Authentication (MFA): Depending on the site, MFA can be setup in a variety of ways. Text messages is a common offering, but using a phone-based app is even more secure.
- Virtual Private Networks (VPN): When on a public network, always use a VPN. This keeps your communications/data out of the hands of bad actors.
- Antivirus software is a must and should be kept up-to-date on your PC.
- Automatic App Updates: Your mobile app store should have a setting available to automatically update all of your apps.
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