As technology advances, so does the way criminals can exploit us. Here are some tips to help protect yourself online.
- Don’t open mail from strangers
In some cases, malware can be installed on your hard drive without even having to download any attachments. These ‘drive by downloads’ may disguise themselves so that even the most tech savvy among us can be fooled. For this reason, it’s best to just not open emails from anyone that you don’t know.
- Turn on automatic updates
Updates often contain fixes for security holes that may have been detected since you got your device. It’s best to make sure your devices are up to date by keeping automatic updates on.
- Use strong passwords
This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect yourself online. Make your passwords unique and not easy to guess. That means no birthdays, names, or favorite sports team. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters that will make it impossible for a scammer to guess. For extra security, change them a few times per year.
- Use two-factor authentications
When you use these two-factor authentications, you will get a code sent to your phone or email after you’ve already entered your login information. Sometimes you’ll have to answer a security question. It may take a few seconds longer to get into your account, but the extra security is a great idea because if a scammer is able to guess your username and password, they’ll have a harder time getting past the second wall.
- Don’t click on links
The most common way to get and spread malware is by clicking on links, even if it’s from someone you know. If you do receive any links that seem suspicious, it’s best to ask them personally if they sent it before you click it. You can also use online link checkers.
- Avoid using public Wi-Fi
Using unsecured wi-fi networks can leave you vulnerable and open to cyber thieves. If you do use public wi-fi, it’s best to never enter personal information like social security numbers or bank information. Wait until you are at home on your secured network for that. If you have to use public networks, do it with a VPN to encrypt the data you are sending and receiving which will make it harder to intercept.
- Back up data
If you do become a victim of malware, you might not be able to get stolen data back. If you back up your data regularly, you won’t have to deal with ransoms to get it back.
- Be mindful of financial data
Before you enter your credit card number, always check the website URL to make sure it begins with ‘https://'. The s indicates that the website is encrypted and your data is safe. Also know that storing your financial data on a website is dangerous, even if you shop with them regularly. Any breach to their security means your data could be easily stolen.
- Avoid sharing personal information
It’s easy to get a little too comfortable online and you’d be surprised at how much information someone can gain from you. Never share identifying details such as your address, full name, or financial information to strangers. Keep in mind that hackers can get answers to your security questions as well with information like your mothers name, your first car, or your high school. Also be careful with usernames that give away any personal information as well.
With ACM IT 360 in Ventura, your business becomes our focus. Our passion. Our mission. We’re driven to deliver superior IT solutions, service and support – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Whatever and however you need it. We’ve been providing this level of service and solutions for our partners and clients since our foundation in 1989. Driven by ongoing staff development and committed teamwork, we meet and exceed our clients’ expectations. And we empower them to grow their business and expand their success.
ACM IT 360
4601 Telephone Rd Suite 104
Ventura, CA 93003