7 tips for staying safe online

cellphone on table

The internet has become the primary means of work, shopping, and communication for most, therefore, increasing the presence of threats and malware.

Computers, laptops, smartphones and the internet are amazing resources, but they must be used safely, securely, and responsibly.

7 tips for staying safe online

1. Secure your accounts

Whether it's your bank account, e-mail account, or social media account they all contain sensitive information about you at minimum. Make sure you don't sign up for services you don't need and close accounts when they are no longer used. 

2. Own your online presence

Only use services when you are comfortable with the privacy and security settings they provide. Review the default settings, and restrict who can access your information on the platform.

3. Know and Alert yourself if your account is exposed

Knowing when your account has been posted to Darknet for cybercriminals to use is a key way to protect yourself - and it doesn't have to be complicated.  Check out the free services provided by https://haveibeenpwned.com/ to check out where your accounts have been compromised and sign up for alerts.

4. Make passwords long and strong

Create passwords that have a long length and use any combination of characters. Experts now recommend passphrases. For example, pick 4 words at random and combine them: wrenchlasagnajumpflame - This password is easy to remember, and would take 11 trillion years for a cybercriminal to guess. Checkout https://howsecureismypassword.net/ and try making some sample passwords - Never type your own password into a tool like this.

5. Unique account, unique password

Separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals.

6. Use a password manager

Everyone can forget a password, use a reputable password manager such as Lastpass, Bitwarden, 1Password, or others.

7. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication

Where available turn on multi-factor authentication which can use anything from a text message to your phone, a token or biometric information like your fingerprint to provide enhanced account security. Stolen or exposed passwords won't be enough for cybercriminals to access your accounts. Visit https://twofactorauth.org/ to find out what websites support Multi-Factor Authentication.