Friday Tech Tip 13/11/15
Online security is a hot topic at the moment, especially in the light of recent events concerning large broadband providers and mobile telecom companies.
In an age where so much of our computing activity has moved online it can be daunting, and with so many people writing about it and so much coverage by news agencies it can all get a bit confusing and feel like it is only inevitable our personal information will be compromised if we use the internet.
So we thought we’d offer 5 simple precautions you can take to help keep your information safe while using the internet to its full potential.
- Set Social Media Private – Keep personal info to a minimum – keep info that answers security questions off your profiles – check privacy settings (from time to time updates sometimes reset them) – flag any suspicious activity.
- Make Strong Passwords – Personalise automatically generated passwords – make changes to passwords from time to time – don’t use the same passwords everywhere – don’t write passwords down. (you can check how strong your passwords are via www.howsecureismypassword.net)
- Secure You’re Computer – Use antivirus software with windows machines & ensure it is up to date – Turn a usb drive into a security key with software like predator if you want to keep sensitive information secure.
- Check Web Security – Check for the padlock icon in the address bar (it means the website has taken appropriate security measures for the info it asks for) – only download content from legitimate sources – remember legitimate law enforcement agencies are unlikely to ask you for money – similarly legitimate I.T. companies are unlikely to contact you to tell you your computer is running slow because of errors.
- Prefer Secure Networks – public networks are more susceptible to security breeches – don’t send or receive private information via public networks – be aware of what people can see over your shoulder. – never leave personal info on a public printer – never leave your login open on a public computer (even if it is to go and make a cup of tea).
Sadly we live in an age where we must be wise and discerning about how we engage with online services. But lets be honest we have always had to be wise and discerning about the physical services we engage with and internet security is really only an extension of the same issue. In most cases if we follow simple basic rules like those above we can avoid many of the problems our widening use of the internet is uncovering.