In this article I will discuss some “Common Sense” things that you can do to protect yourself in this ever increasing connected world. We are all connected in some way whether we want to be on not. The first thing that you should do is take an honest inventory of your on-line world.
Common On-Line items:
- Your laptop, desktop computer or tablet
- Smartphone (iPhone, Android or Windows)
- Xbox, PlayStation or Wii
- Your car-yes some of the newer models are connected to the internet
- Bluetooth and wireless(WiFi)
So, how do you actually protect yourself when you are connected to the internet? When you travel to a strange place the most important thing that you can do to protect yourself is be aware of your surroundings and where you are. The same thing is true with the internet: be aware of where you are: the web page, the email attachment, the spammed email.
Passwords are like the keys to your front door, you want the most secure door lock and you don’t want to lose your keys. Same for passwords, you want the most secure passwords and you don’t want to lose control on them.
- Each of your accounts should have a unique password
- The password should be at least 10 characters long containing letters, numbers and symbols
- If your passwords are on paper they should be stored in a secure location
- Use a Password Manager, it will manage your passwords, generate secure password and you will only have to remember one password, your master password
You must have anti-virus protection at the very least. I would highly recommend total internet protection available from many internet security companies. These programs will provide anti-virus protection, email protection by scanning your email and attachments and internet security when you are on-line. They provide protection for known and unknown threats and throw in many other useful features. Remember to get protection for your smartphone. There are many free protections programs, check your smartphone store.
When checking your email ask yourself, do I know the sender of this email? If not, do you really need to open that email? Don’t click on an attachment unless you are sure what it is, the bad guys use attachments to take over your computer and steal all your stuff, like your bank account information. Awareness also applies to internet surfing, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and any other internet location or social media site.