Need For Online Precautions Highlighted By Safer Internet Day

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All around the world, organizations are commemorating an event known as Safer Internet Day.  As its moniker suggests, today’s event is geared toward helping citizens ensure their safety when they conduct business online.  A host of preventative measures are being offered to help citizens avoid financial fraud and identity theft, and to make sure you’re protected, please consider the tips available from ABC News.  That report featured the insights of representatives of McAfee and Google, so they’re certainly worthwhile for you to put into action.

Let’s start with passwords.  Many people underestimate the value of a good, hard-to-guess password.  Perhaps the worst thing you can do is not use a password at all.  On computers, tablets, and mobile phones, you should set things up so that you can’t access the contents of the device unless a security code is input.

These passwords shouldn’t be something obvious like “password” either.  Even straightforward passwords that just use single words can be easy for hackers to guess.  Instead, the key you use should harness some combination of numbers, characters, and both upper and lowercase letters.  The longer the better.  Random combinations will be far harder for people to crack, meaning that you can rest easy knowing your devices are safe.

But it’s of course not just your devices that you have to worry about.  You also have to worry about all those things you can access on computers:  email accounts, bank accounts, social media, e-shopping, and more.  Most business is done electronically, and the passwords for those accounts deserve the same protection as everything else.  When you’re setting up passwords, make sure you differentiate them on every single venue.  That way, a security breach of one doesn’t equate to a security breach of all.

When trying to boost security, think about the weak spots someone could take advantage of.  Wifi connections are one.  These need to receive similar password protection, and you have to be wary of using any type of public WiFi.  Hackers can piggyback off of defenseless connections to gain access to your information, so you’ll want to avoid things like banking and shopping when using an unprotected WiFi.

You also shouldn’t trust everything you see and hear on the internet.  On social media and in your email, if you’re privy to a message from a source you didn’t request information from, do not click.  This could be an attempt to yield sensitive details or infect your computer, so avoid clicking anything whose source you can’t verify or trust.  When shopping, be on the lookout for an HTTPS handle or a padlock, which should designate that the site is secure.