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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Safer Internet Day

It's that time of year again. Safer Internet Day is today and we have some more tips for protecting you and your loved ones while online.

1. Use different passwords

 It sounds like it could be confusing, but this is one of the best ways to make sure that if only one account is compromised instead of all of them. Saving you a lot of headaches in the end. 

2. Choose strong passwords 

Using password as your password, if you didn't know, is asking for someone to just help themselves to your account. Avoid using your name, birthdate or other similarly obvious password combinations. It's also a good idea to change your passwords every six months.

3. Use a VPN Service

Using a VPN Service is a great way to protect information you are sending and receiving. Services like GoTrusted encrypt your data so it is unreadable to anyone else, but the intended website. Even if someone is somehow able to nab the data they would have no way to look at it. This can keep you safer online whether you're at home or at the coffee shop down the way.

4. Don't reveal to much on social networks 

Be careful what you are sharing and who you are sharing it with. Information you post can easily be used by hackers to figure out security questions and passwords. This also stretches into reality as well. Publicly posting that you're out of town for the week could be an invitation for burglars.

5. Protect your Computer and Browser

This one is an obvious one. You should always be running the latest version of your anti-virus, operating system, and VPN. Making sure your'e up to date keeps you up to speed with current viruses that are circulating and closes known bugs in your operating system that could be exploited.

6. Secure your wireless connection

This means setting a password and changing your network ID from the default. How many times have you seen open networks named 'Linksys' or 'Netgear'? Leaving your connection open like that leaves you vulnerable. It's possible for people to connect to your network and look at any device connected to it. 

7. Shop at safe websites

Always look for the padlock next to the site address and that it has HTTPS in the url. This shows the site is secured. 

8. Think before clicking links

Scammers and phishers are getting smarter and more creative all the time. Anyone can make a complete copy of a website easily. Be careful with the links you click in an email. If they seem suspicious, don't click them! Receive an email from Amazon about your order that you never placed? It's always safer to navigate to the main site and log-in than it is through an email link. These are just some ways scammers are trying to get your login credentials. 

Safer Internet Day is organized by Insafe during February as a way to promote safety online.

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