In this day and age, it seems like everything takes place online. From your shopping expenditures to most of your communications, the internet has truly become a part of every part of our daily lives. And while there are several benefits to the ease and immediacy of the digital age, there are also several security breaches that can arise when living a life online. Check out these few key “Dos and Don’ts” to ensure your time on the internet is safe and secure.
1. Don’t Trust Free Wifi
2. Do Create Strong and Unique Passwords
3. Don’t Overshare on Social Media
While you’re probably not sharing pictures of your driver’s license or address on Facebook, you may still be sharing sensitive details without realizing it. Having location services enabled can notify thieves of your address or the fact that you are traveling. Check your settings to ensure that location services are not in use 24/7. Additionally, make sure you’re only accepting friend or message requests from people you personally know. Finally, the safest way to share on social media is through a private or “Friends Only” account. Check your social media settings to see how many people can currently be viewing your posts.
4. Do Close Unused Accounts
There’s probably a strong chance that you’re no longer using your middle school Hotmail email address. However, if it’s still alive and well, all your files and photos can still be accessed and compromised by hackers attempting to breach your information. Take some time and shut down the accounts you no longer use. Closing out those old MySpace and Neopets accounts can keep your history safe.
5. Don’t Click on Suspicious Links
According to the Federal Trade Commission, phishing is a technique used by scammers to trick people into sharing personal information. These emails or text messages will usually appear to come from a reputable source (i.e. IT department, CEO, etc) and will ask you to click on a link and take immediate action.
6. Do Set Up Multi-Factor Authentication
7. Don’t Share Your Social Security Number
Always think twice about sharing your social security number – even just the last four digits. According to the previously mentioned Forbes article, many companies ask for your social security number because it allows them to tie your information together with multiple different sources. However, you are only required to share your social security number with the Federal Government. The car rental company or fancy hotel has no claim to that information, so feel free to turn down their request.
Keep these key “Dos and Don’ts” in mind throughout your time on the internet. Utilizing these few security techniques can ensure your experiences online are fast, reliable, and (most importantly) secure.