Online security

Online security

1. Keep personal information private

Don’t give out your personal information to a company or an individual that you don’t know or trust. Ask them why it’s needed and how it will be used.

2. Install anti-virus software

To keep your computer bug free install something like McAfee Total Protection or Norton Internet Security anti-virus software. Choose software that will protect you from the main threats like:
–      viruses
–      malware (malicious software)
–      spyware (software that ‘spies’ on your computer)
–      adware (advertising software)

And because online threats are rapidly evolving don’t forget to keep your software updated. Also keep your internet browsers up to date as the newer versions like Internet Explorer or Firefox have better security than the older ones.


3. Social networking sites

Check your privacy settings on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter and make sure that only your ‘friends’ can see your profile and protect your tweets. Don’t befriend or follow anyone who you don’t know or trust.


4. Public computers

Always log out of your accounts (email and social media) if using a public computer, including a work one, as they may not have all the relevant security in place. And try and avoid financial transactions or any online banking on a public computer if possible.


5. Spammers & Phishing

Delete any spam emails as replying to them just lets spammers know that the email account is live.

Also be alert to phishing. Phishing is when emails are sent from companies pretending to be legitimate (like your bank) and ask you for personal information. Update your spam filters.

6. Passwords

The strongest passwords contain a combination of letters, numbers and characters, such as ! or ? Avoid obvious passwords like your birthday, children’s or spouses names. Apps are available that will generate random passwords for you.
7. Computer cookies

Cookies are tiny computer files that store information on all the websites that you have visited, so when you revisit that site your computer knows you’ve been there before. If you want to stop this storing of cookies, then change your settings via Tools tab on your web browser.
8. Online shopping

When shopping online look for website addresses that start with https – the ‘s’ means that the site is secure. Also look out for the little padlock, normally on the bottom right hand corner of your screen.

Note what you’ve bought online and check your purchases off against your bank and credit card statements. Anything suspicious, report it immediately.


9. Second email address

Having a second email address means you don’t need to use your personal email for online shopping. If the email is hacked or spammed, you can easily delete it and sign up for a new one instead of having to change your primary address that family and friends use


10. Make others aware

Keep the whole house safe by following the above tips when going online, especially make children aware when using social networks.


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