How to Stay Safe Online
The average American spends a big chunk of time, 24 hours a week to be exact, online.
Whether checking an email, updating social media, shopping online, searching on Google, or anything in between, we access the internet all the time- and more often than not, we go online without asking ourselves one important question:
Is my network secure?
While the Internet is a necessity, we all know that it can be a dangerous place. What we often don’t realize, however, are the more serious risks of accessing the world wide web. Unsafe web-surfing can be detrimental, leaving you vulnerable to data breaches, cyber attacks, malware and more.
DataGroup Technologies wants you to be safe online. That’s why we’re sharing our top online security basics tech tips that show you how to stay safe online and drastically decrease exposure to cyber threats.
Connect to a Trusted Network.
There are few things more convenient than free wi-fi. As tempting as it may be to mindlessly connect, it is important to consider the legitimacy of the provider. Public connections are usually not secure, leaving the sensitive data on your device open to anyone.
A trusted network should have the following features:
- Authentication. A network that requires users to login allows only authenticated users to connect.
- Encryption. When data is encrypted, it cannot be detained by unauthorized users.
- Firewall. The devices and servers on the network should include a firewall to help screen for security.
Use your Credit Card with Caution.
Don’t make purchases from sketchy websites. Upon finalizing your purchase, check for the padlock security symbol and/or ‘https’ in the address bar. When a website address starts with https, you know that you’re on a secure website.
It’s also important to keep a close eye on your bank statements so that you don’t miss any suspicious activity, should it occur.
Use Secure Passwords
Ensuring that your passwords are secure is vital to your cyber security. The most secure passwords contain a mix of lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters, and you should have a unique passwords for each website you need to log into. A password manager tool comes in handy for this. Sure, it can be a pain to keep up with so many passwords, but it’s an even bigger pain to attempt to recover your sensitive information once it’s stolen.
Lock Your Device
When you’re not using your smartphone, computer system, laptop or tablet, lock it. What’s the purpose of this? Think of it this way – locking your device is like dead-bolting your front door. It helps you prevent hackers by making it more difficult for them to quickly gain access to your device. Take it a step further by setting up a password protected lock.
Do not click on anything unfamiliar.
Rule of thumb: If it seems like something is to good to be true, it’s probably too good to be true. Don’t click on links in any email you receive from an unknown source, and immediately close out any windows that pop up while you’re visiting a website. If it’s not familiar, it’s not your friend. Awareness is key when it comes to internet security. Use your judgement, and play it safe!
There you have it! Your online security is taken care of, but what about your business’s security? If data security isn’t currently incorporated in your long term IT strategy, the time to do so is now. To learn more about cyber security, disaster recovery, and cloud and data backup solutions customized to fit your business needs, let’s talk today.
DataGroup Technologies is a complete managed IT services provider in the Greenville North Carolina area, but we provide service across the US. Learn more about DTI today!