It seems lately no one is safe online. Open any newspaper or just search the Internet for the word “cyber” and you will be inundated with stories of identity theft, online scams, data breach, etc. Is this where we are now? Should we just accept it and assume our personal information is going to be stolen and used by hackers and spammers? I say NO! Here are six easy to use tips that will help keep your valuable information secure.
1. When banking online close all windows except for the bank window; and I don’t mean the windows in your house ; - ). Hackers can use a virus to access your secure bank window via an unsecure window like Google, Facebook, etc.
2. Don’t click on links in emails. For instance, when you get a LinkedIn request or Facebook friending request, don’t click the link in the email. Instead, go to the site by opening a browser. There are many scams wherein the hacker will place a fake link in an email that when clicked takes you to a fake site that looks like the real one.
3. Don’t install security patches you get in emails. This tip goes back to #2 above, don’t click the link. Security companies do not send patches via email. Click the link and you are likely downloading a virus.
4. When done with a site you have to log into, like your bank, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., don’t just close the window, but sign out. If not you will still be signed in. Most sites automatically sign you out after a period of non-use, but don’t take the chance and leave yourself signed in.
5. Don’t unsubscribe from unwanted emails. In many cases you will receive fake emails looking for a legitimate email address for spam lists. When you click unsubscribe you are telling the spammers that your email is legitimate. A better practice is to just delete the email the two or three times. If you continue to receive the email it is probably legit and you can unsubscribe.
6. If using public WiFi, like in a coffee shop, airport, hotel, etc., use a proxy. There are many proxies that can be downloaded and used for free. A proxy encrypts your information so if a hacker sitting nearby is attempting to steal your information he will not be able to see it since encrypting scrambles it.
This is just six of many many tips. Please continue to watch for this post for more great tips and advice in cyber security. Coming soon, “What to Know Before Entering the Cloud”