How to Be Safe on the Internet
January 10, 2013 10:43 AM
In today’s world, we have to be extremely careful when it comes to internet security. Technology allows us to constantly keep in touch via social media, texting, and instant messaging, among other methods. Although most people have good intentions, there are individuals out there who hack into systems and put out viruses just for fun. Here are a few tips to help keep us safe while we peruse the channels of communication…
1. Computers 101- Keep your system updated. Updates help protect your computer, and most operating systems automatically check for them.
2. Passwords Do Matter – Create strong passwords for your accounts, and don’t use the same one over and over. Longer passwords with numbers and characters are generally more secure than shorter, less creative ones. Change them regularly, as well.
3. Don’t Click on Every Link You See – That link that promises a free iPad may be inviting, however it could very well be part of a method designed to spread malware. Only click if you know it’s a link to a trusted site.
4. Beware of Social Media Attacks – So, your friend posted about this great product they used to lose 50 pounds. Another friend posted something about seeing a crazy video of you. Don’t believe it-their accounts were probably hacked, now the hackers are trying to get you to click on a bad link.
5. Joe Schmoe Wants to be Friends – The problem here is, you don’t know Joe Schmoe. Don’t accept the request. Period.
6. Who Needs Security? – You do. Don’t disable it. Ever.
7. Free Music Downloads - …are never free. Unless you want to risk downloading a virus, don’t download pirated music, videos, software, etc.
8. Wi –Fi Hotspots – When connecting to a hotspot, be sure it’s from a legitimate service (library, etc.). If possible, use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). Another route you can go is via an app like Hotspot Shield, which automatically sets up a VPN for you.
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There you have it. This is certainly not the end all, though. You should still keep your guard up. Be vigilant, and stay up to date. Take advantage of the technology we have at our fingertips, but be smart about it.