Most of us use a device that is permanently connected to the Internet, either at home, or when out and about. We don’t all have a personal online security guard to protect us from external threats. Your online security is of paramount importance.
How can you ensure you are safe in both situations?
Use Internet Security/Anti virus software.
Always use anti-virus software on all computers and devices to increase your online security. This includes Android phones and tablets. The only ones which really don’t need it are Apple’s iOS devices (iPads and iPhones).
Password protection and strength.
Follow these guidelines for ensuring you have a strong password.
Don’t use simple, easy to guess passwords such as names of friends, family and pets.
Don’t use words from the dictionary or commonly used passwords such as 12345 or QWERTY.
Always use a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
If thinking of, and remembering passwords seems too much then try using a password manager. Many will cover both computers and mobiles and are inexpensive or even free. Then you only need remember one master password as the manager generates the other passwords for you as you visit each website.
Choose a secure connection.
When away from home be extremely careful when using public Wi-Fi hotspots. Never use an unknown ‘Free Wi-Fi’ hotspot. If you are out and about and need Wi-Fi then choose a secure, protected one that you would need a password for such as in a hotel where you would have to ask at reception for the password. Those who are a bit more tech savvy could use a VPN to connect when away from home. Ask yourself, is your online security more important than checking a latest social media update? The usual answer is no.
Finally always use common sense.
NEVER click directly on links in emails. Navigate to the required page yourself. Any email from a trusted source such as your bank or HMRC should never provide links in emails but will give instructions on how to access their sites. If you are still unsure contact them by telephone to confirm if the email is genuine. This applies to friend’s emails too. How do you know they have not been compromised?
Be aware of phone calls from scam callers. Microsoft (who make Windows), or their trusted partners, will NEVERcold call you to tell you your computer has a problem.
Block pop-ups on web pages. This can easily be done in the options/settings for your web browser.
Only download trustworthy apps on your devices. There are many un-reputable apps out there, especially on the Android system. Check what they want to access before you download and install them.
As always, if you have any questions or queries about online security then please get in touch here.