November 2017: Cyber Safety Tips & Advice
For daily usage:
Use strong passwords, regularly update them: This is your first line of defense to protect your personal information. When creating passwords, it’s good to use lower case and upper-case letters, symbols and numbers in the password. It’s a good habit to regularly change them. Some experts recommend installing a password manager service.
Two Factor Authentication: This is the process of having a website and/or an app sending you a code via text or email in order for you to log into your account. This additional step is a good barrier in helping to prevent a hacker from accessing your account. Potential hackers would not only need to possess your login info, but also have access to your phone or email account.
Only Use Secure Web Browsers: When viewing a website make sure the website starts with “https” rather than “http”. The “S” means it is a secured website, one that takes extra steps in helping secure your personal information.
General computer/device habits:
If you installed it, be sure to update it: Those constant software update alerts on your phone and/or other devices are for your protection. Hackers tend to take advantage of loop holes that were left in out of date software versions. Updates provide solutions to many of those loop holes that hackers exploit.
Phishing is that random email or alert about a good deal on a product you didn’t know you needed, this type of “good deal” should be viewed as a red flag. As a rule of thumb, if you didn’t go looking for it, you probably shouldn’t download it or install it to one of your devices.
If you don’t need it, remove it: If you don’t use that app and/or software anymore, experts recommend that you should remove it. Rarely used apps and software are only wasting space and slowing down your device.
Help prevent unwanted tracking:
Be mindful of public WiFi: Public WiFi can be accessed by all of the public; therefore, be mindful when visiting certain websites that may contain your personal inform when on public WiFi networks. Using your data in public spaces is safer than using the free public WiFi.
Location Sharing: A lot of apps will ask for your location so it may improve the quality of the app. This isn’t always true and is something you should be mindful of doing. When this feature is activated for an app, that app will track your every move and begin to understand your habits. Location sharing isn’t always necessary and should be something you rarely authorize an app to have.
Private browsing: Private Browsing allows your browser to erase recent history and doesn’t allow it to remember usernames and passwords for sites. It Is best used for public computers or computers that have multiple users; however, sites and your employer can still track you and the sites you visit.
Install Camera Covers: Yes, hackers can hack into your camera and watch your every move. While this may be difficult to cover up for your phone, it’s fairly easy to cover up the camera on your laptop or other mobile devices.