In a world where the amount of time we spend online continues to rise, your online security has never been more important. Whether it be online shopping, working, or entertaining yourself, there is also a growing number of people accessing these spaces in an effort to illegally obtain your personal information. You can improve your online security by following these steps:
Update passwords regularly – Updating your passwords regularly makes it more difficult for potential hackers to guess them. It also ensures that your passwords are front of mind and, in turn, improves your overall security.
Use strong passwords and incorporate variety in your passwords for different platforms – While it can feel more convenient to use your pet’s name or something simple like “Password1234” for all your passwords on every site, the truth is, you’re only hurting yourself by doing this. Using a strong password with a variety of characters, numbers, and special symbols, as well as varying your password from site to site make things much more difficult on anyone trying to hack into your data.
Only visit secure websites – Always ensuring the sites you’re visiting are secure is a no brainer when it comes to improving your online security. You can do this by ensuring that the “lock” symbol next to the website’s link is in a “locked” position in the search bar. Unsecured sites are more likely to be fraudulent and have a greater potential to try to steal your personal data.
Only use secure wi-fi connections – Along with only using secured websites, you should also only use secure wi-fi connections. These are private wi-fi connections that require passwords to access. Free, public wi-fi connections can often be scams that potential hackers use to connect to your computer to access your personal and private information.
Verify validity of emails – Were you expecting this email from this person? Is everything spelled correctly? Is it requesting private information like a username and password, or financial details urgently? Did you hover over the links included in the email (without clicking them!) to ensure the websites are both secure and legitimate? These are the questions you should be asking anytime you receive an email you think could be fraudulent. Many potential hackers utilize emails that seem harmless on the surface that get you to follow a fake link to steal your personal information. Being aware of these methods is a good way to combat them.
Backup important files – We never know when disaster will strike. Whether it be a hacker successfully infiltrating your personal devices, or an accident that damages your computer, it’s always a good idea to backup important files in a separate spot in case you need them but can’t access them from your usual place. This can either be done in a secure online cloud platform, or even through physical copies.