1. Don’t Share Your Personal Information
Image Source - redditThis is rule number one! It should go without saying that you should never share your passwords, banking information, access to your social networks, or address online when it comes to internet safety. You wouldn't give these details out to a random person in the street, would you?
2. Check Links Before Clicking
Image Source - redditBefore clicking on any links while browsing social media or reading your email, make sure you know and trust them. Hovering over a link might help you determine whether it is secure. This will display a preview of the complete URL in the status bar of your web browser.
3. Use Secure Wi-Fi Networks
Image Source - redditUnless absolutely necessary, you should never connect to a public Wi-Fi network that is unprotected (unlocked without a password). Hackers have been known to put up bogus Wi-Fi hotspots to deceive irresponsible online users. The hacker can then virtually view anything someone does online. Scary stuff!
4. Use a VPN
Image Source - redditAn important tip to stay safe online is to always use a VPN, which will allow you to surf in peace. A VPN, or virtual private network, safely connects your device to a web server so that no one can track your online behaviour or access your information.
5. When Surfing Online Only Use Secure Sites
Image Source - redditAt least once a day you'll click on a website to make a purchase or check out some information. Make sure the address at the top of your web browser begins with https:// rather than http:// when you are going to log into any website. The site address will also have a padlock next to it.
6. Turn Your Bluetooth Off
Image Source - redditIt was found in a study that Bluetooth transmissions are vulnerable and even susceptible to exploitation. By taking advantage of a Bluetooth connection's weakness, hackers will be able to listen in on nearby Bluetooth communications and alter content.
7. Use Antivirus Software
Image Source - redditProtection software is a must-have! Even those on a tight budget can obtain antivirus software that is free or inexpensive. This will help you avoid having to deal with viruses or being a victim of hacking. If you already have this software installed, it's important to keep this updated!
8. Create Complex Passwords
Image Source - redditYou've probably heard this several times, but one of the most important tips is to have complex passwords to secure your online accounts. If you have a strong password in place, this will discourage cyber criminals. Your password should at least be 15 characters.
9. Keep Privacy Settings On
Image Source - redditIt's also key that you keep your privacy settings activated. If you turn your privacy settings off, your private information might be sent to advertisers to improve your browsing experience, however, hackers may also get a hold of these details which may lead to you being scammed.
10. Think Carefully About What You Share Online
Image Source - redditAs a general rule, avoid sharing or uploading anything that you wouldn't want your friends, family, coworkers, or parents to view. You can't be certain who else will see it online once you hit send because it is no longer private. If it's a video or photo, then this can be shared thousands of times across the word.
11. Use A Password Manager
Image Source - redditAccounts secured by a single password are very simple for hackers to breach, especially if the same one is used for several accounts. If you use a password manager, this allows you to save multiple randomly generated passwords for everything you do online.
12. Be Careful Who You Chat To Online
Image Source - ctvnewsKeep in mind that not everyone you meet online will be exactly who they claim to be. Never feel compelled or under any obligation to engage in online chat. Always say no when someone asks you to lend them money. Also, don't send any photos as these could be used to blackmail you.
13. Place Stickers On Camera
Image Source - redditAre you concerned that hackers will be able to get into your laptop and spy on you through the camera? Well, the simple hack to ease these worries is to place a sticker over the lens to block out any prying eyes! This will prevent criminals from recording and posting private videos online.
14. Pay With Your Smartphone
Image Source - redditDo you always have your phone in your hand? The system for using credit cards online is out of date and not well protected. Where possible for payments use Apple, Google Pay or mobile payment apps. Using this method eliminates the potential for credit card skimmer data theft.
15. Use Different Email Addresses for Different Kinds of Accounts
Image Source - redditYou've got mail! To keep safe online, make sure you use different emails when signing up for different types of accounts. It can be quite simple for hackers to cross-reference your records and link your information together if your email address is targeted in a data breach.
16. Clear Cookies & Cache
Image Source - redditIt's good to make it a daily habit to clear your cache, browser cookies, and history. This information can hold your home address, family information, and other personal data. If you allow these details to remain on your laptop, this will be vulnerable to attack.
17. Turn Off The 'Save Password' Feature In Browsers
Image Source - redditIt's not always good to save information! Some spyware and viruses include remote theft capabilities. If so, the criminal of those attacks will have access to your passwords and accounts on any websites where you have kept your login information, so make sure you don't use any save password features.
18. Protect Your Social Media Privacy
Image Source - susandorbeck.Beware of the catfish! A common scam on social media is where hackers pose as a friend. Usually, they will send you a private message and then end up taking over your account and having access to your information. To guard against this you can amend your social media settings so your data isn't shared
19. Use Multi-factor Authentication
Image Source - redditIf you only use single password authentication, your usernames and passwords will constantly be open to a brute force attack from a third party. A minimum of two different kinds of authentication are used in multi-factor authentication to confirm your identity making your personal information safe and secure.
20. Use Passcodes Even When They Are Optional
Image Source - smartphones.gadgethacksIf you currently have a smartphone, then you'll be used to entering a code to access the device, as this is a default security measure. You can also activate biometric authentication which involves Face ID and fingerprint identification making it nearly impossible for your details to be hacked!
21. Use A Firewall
Image Source - redditBefore going online, make sure you have a firewall active. This is a program that is created to separate your information from the outside world. Firewalls shield your systems and data against unwanted access and advise you of any invasion attempts.
22. Install An Anti-Spyware Package
Image Source - redditEye spy with my little eye! Spyware is a unique kind of software that discreetly tracks and gathers information about individuals or businesses. Anti-spyware focuses solely on this danger and blocks any potential threat before your data becomes compromised.
23. Back Up Your Computer
Image Source - redditHaving a backup of your data is essential in case hackers manage to break in and destroy your system, so if you've not done this yet, make sure you do this tonight! This will allow you to rebuild quickly after an attack. Your data can easily be stored on an external hard drive.
24. Shut Down
Image Source - redditWhen using your laptop each day, it is very tempting to just sleep your laptop and not fully shut the system down, however, this is a mistake! Always being online makes your device more accessible and attractive target for attackers. Shutting down breaks the connection between your network and the scam artist.
25. Use Encryption
Image Source - redditGet one over the hackers and use encryption! This enhances the security of a message or files online by scrambling the content. This can stop thieves from accessing any of your data even if they are able to access your network and personal information.
26. Switch Off Autocomplete
Image Source - moonshotcentralTurn it off! The autocomplete tool anticipates what you're typing and fills in the blanks. Although useful, this application essentially gives hackers access to your email address, mailing address, phone number, and other crucial information if their attack is successful.
27. Keep OS, Apps And Browser Updated
Image Source - redditAnother top tip that hackers have shared is to install any new operating system updates immediately. Most updates contain security patches that stop criminals from accessing and using your data for their own purposes. It's also important to keep your apps and browser settings updated.
28. Block Search Engines From Tracking You
Image Source - medianamaMake sure you block search engines from tracking you. The majority of well-known search engines, not only gather your personally identifiable information but also share it with unidentified third parties. Your information may then end up being exploited for identity theft.
29. . Limit Details About Work History
Image Source - redditOn Linkedin, users are keen to post daily about their work history. Work-related information can expose a person's private life and can allow hackers and other criminals access to personal data that could be used to get into their account and commit cyber crime.
30. Check Out Your Own Account
Image Source - redditAnother clever security tip is to check out your own account from another profile, this will allow you to view what potential hackers will able to see if they're trying to infiltrate your network. This will then enable you to make the changes required to secure your information.