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An internet-free world is almost unimaginable. Being online is a big part of how we live. It provides us with the opportunity to engage, to be educated, entertained, and to shop with ease. It’s undoubtedly an amazing tool we can’t live without, but there are risks.

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 stay connected 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 and knowing the rules to stay safe is crucial. With hacks, scams, malware and much more, well, the internet can feel like a dangerous place. 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.”

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 logon details. It is much safer to re-enter 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 Wi-Fi. This is a breeding ground for hackers to access your personal data. So, before you connect to the Wi-Fi 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.

Use the privacy settings in your social apps.

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

Sources: securingtomorrow.mcafee.com, theguardian.com, popsci.com, staysafeonline.org, lifelock.com, saga.co.uk, expressvpn.com, uk.norton.com, hsbc.com.hk, consumerreports.com, blog.grantmcgrecor.co.uk, clario.com, eroute.in, reviews.org, makeuseof.com, thedigitalchain.com, netsafe.org.nz.

 

 

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