Online Security: Tips and Tricks to Protect yourself Online

Online security is easier than you think!

More often than not I see a post in my Facebook feed about someone’s PC or social media account being hacked. Or a family member has fallen for a scam. Usually it’s because that person was too trusting or didn’t know any better. I don’t want this to happen to you so I’ve written a list of easy to remember online security tips.

 

Passwords

First and foremost to any online security is to set a strong password. I cannot stress this point enough. Do not choose a word with any meaning to you. Especially not something which contains your birthday, favourite colour, pets name etc.

Choose a long (at least 10 characters) random password which contains a combination of the following:

  • UPPER CASE
  • lower case
  • $pecia| c#aracters
  • numb3r5
  • Use a password generator.
  • Change your passwords often.

You cannot protect yourself online if you do not have a strong password!

 

Untrusted links

If you don’t know the source of the link, don’t click it… it’s as simple as that. If you’re unsure, do a search for it and see if anything comes up.

 

Untrusted files

This is the same as clicking on untrusted links. When you click on these links or download these files, you invite malicious content into your PC and risk your security.

 

Keep your software up to date

Those updates are important… as annoying as it might be to constantly update things, updates contain vital online security fixes to protect you.

 

Install an Anti-Virus suite

Anti-virus suites are vital to online security. A good suite will have anti-malware, anti-virus, real-time protection and anti-ransomware built in. However, you should only download software that is trusted. And if you’re not sure: google it and read the reviews. I use Malware Bytes as it includes everything I need and I’m happy with the price. However, there are many other excellent anti-virus suites for you to choose from. Techradar and PCMag review some of the best anti-virus software for you.

 

Freeware isn’t always the best option

Some freeware can be trusted, however it is always best to do your research first before downloading and using it. Again, if you’re not sure, rather stay away.

 

Avoid scams!

The old saying “it’s too good to be true…” is apt. You’ve just received an email saying “Congrats! You’ve won the UK lottery” and you scream with joy! Tell me… did you enter the UK lottery? Or another one telling you about the lost relative in Nigeria who’s left a fortune to you. Do you have any relatives in Nigeria? So why are you sending these people money to release your funds when deep down you know it’s too good to be true? It’s easy to avoid scams. Don’t send money to strangers. Do your research and don’t trust everything you read. And don’t send your private information to anyone.

 

Online security for WordPress users

Plugins and Themes

Be careful of the plugins you download and install. Rather read the reviews and see how many people are using it before downloading it. Also ask yourself if it is absolutely necessary to have that plugin. If it’s just something cool and doesn’t add important functionality to your website, rather leave it than risk your online security. In fact, leave this to whoever is maintaining your website.

 


 

Conclusion

I repeat: The most important thing when it comes to online security is to be wary. Do as much research as possible before you download or click anything. And if you have a website which needs to be maintained or secured, speak to us about it, we are here to help.

 

Further reading:

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