Top 10 Internet Security Practices

internet security

Though internet security and threats are in constant flux, some advice remains constant. So, here are our top 10 internet security practices:

Know that you are a target

Accepting that you are a target to hackers is the first step in building better internet security. Don’t just assume it will never happen to you. Getting hacked can have repercussions for the people around you, friends and family, and the organisation you work for. So, be responsible and keep yourself secure.

Keep all software up-to-date

You may be reluctant to install the latest update when you don’t know what effect it will have on your device and don’t know how much memory it will take up. That said, installing the latest software and app updates is the best way to stay ahead of known hacking threats. Why? Well, most updates are security updates. Though they don’t add much functionality to your phone or computer, these updates close loopholes and vulnerabilities that have only recently been recognised.

Manage your passwords

These days, with so many online accounts, everyone has way too many passwords to manage. Though it may be tempting to reuse a password on accounts that are less important to you or to rely on multi-factor authentication to prevent hacking, an excellent way to manage your passwords is to use a password manager. Password manager software automatically generates a strong and unique password for every account you make. This software also enters those complicated passwords automatically, meaning the only password you have to know is the one for your password manager account.

Be aware of phishing – watch out for dubious messages

Phishing scams use social engineering to trick you into giving them personal information. This may look like someone asking for your banking information through a phone call, email, or social media. With phishing, someone pretends to be from a real organisation. They just want to check on some suspicious activity in your account, or they need you to update your details. Some scammers may even be able to replicate your bank’s security details, like texting you as well as emailing you or spoofing your bank’s official number. But don’t fall for it. Instead, check your bank’s website to see what security tips they recommend.

Be careful what you click on

The easiest way to protect yourself is simple – don’t visit dubious corners of the web. Don’t go on websites you don’t know, and don’t download software from an untrusted source – instead, stick to more trustworthy app stores. Then, use a browser add-on or antivirus that will scan your downloads for malicious code.

Guard all important data

It’s not just your own data you must look after but also everyone else’s. Laws vary around the world, but there are a few essential tips that are good practice.

Keep important data off your devices. It may be tempting to hand your credit card number, health number, or address over to your browser for quick input later, but if a hacker gains access to your browser, they’ve got everything. Try not to make notes of this data in a virtual sticky note or Word document either – if someone accesses your computer, everything they need is right there – on the desktop!

One other great way to keep data safe is by keeping your broadband up-to-date. Compare your broadband and choose a faster, more secure provider today.

Keep unattended devices safe

It’s easy to overlook, but your devices’ physical security is just as important as their technical security. With how much we take our laptops or phones out to coffee shops or use them at school, this is now more important than ever.

When you need to leave your laptop, tablet, or phone for an extended period, remember to lock it and give it password protection. Conceal your computer when you’re not around to prevent theft. If you keep data on an external hard drive or flash drive, keep this encrypted and also use a password. If you use a desktop setup, shut it down or lock the screen when you’re not using it.

Use antivirus

According to a study by Georgia State University, the best way to deal with computer viruses is to have an antivirus installed and running when they occur. A free antivirus should give you all you need, or the antivirus that comes with your operating system. Just make sure it’s up and running and install it from a trusted source.

Keep safe on mobile devices

You know the drill – use a lock or password, only install apps through the app store, keep your operating system on the latest version and don’t store personal information on your mobile device. As well as this, use a Find my Phone feature – through the operating system or settings – and use data encryption. These vary according to the operating system.

Back it up

Despite all these best practices, an accident or theft may happen eventually. That’s why it’s crucial to back up your devices adequately. For example, take a full system image backup or just sync photos and documents to the cloud – whatever is important to you.

Author Bio:

Frisian is a mother of two and passionate about everything digital. Having worked with Compare Broadband, she is also an avid traveler. Apart from traveling, she is also a keen coffee enthusiast and has a passion for health & nature.

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