5 Basic Tips To Boost Your Online Security

September 27, 2022 | Privacy, Security

It can be hard to keep track of all the right things to do online and all the places to avoid.

New apps, downloads, and online scams can sometimes make the internet feel like the Wild West — when all you’re trying to do is get your work done and mind your own business.

 

The good news is, there are ways to stay ahead of the multitude of malicious threats online. By taking some time to invest in preventative measures, it will pay off in improved data security down the road. 

 

Because you never know when you and your data will become targets. Here are a few tips that will keep you more secure online.

Use unique passwords.

This piece of advice can save a tremendous amount of frustration, perhaps making up for the inconvenience it causes along the way. When hackers come into login information for one account, they will often attempt to use those credentials on other accounts. If all your passwords are the same, you’ve given them a universal access key. Password managers, many of which are free, offer a safe place to store all of your unique passwords. And, they’ll even suggest strong passwords when you’ve run out of ideas.

Utilize and update an antivirus program.

Even if you have a built-in antivirus program, like Microsoft Defender, use a third-party antivirus program as an added layer of protection. Why? Because Microsoft Defender can’t catch everything and third-party programs are more robust. Use a program that protects against viruses, ransomware, and other forms of malware. Most of these programs run on their own, but make sure you don’t miss any notifications indicating trouble.

Use a VPN when possible.

Public networks, like the free ones offered at retailers and coffee shops, could allow a malicious user into your system. A virtual private network, or VPN, protects against that. Since a VPN encrypts a user’s internet traffic, no one else is able to spy on or capture that user’s data.

Activate passcodes and multi-factor authentication.

While these tricks slow down access to a phone or account, that’s pretty much the whole idea. By adding a passcode to the lock screen of your phone, and opting in to multi-factor authentication on apps and accounts, you’re putting an extra layer of protection between your data and someone who wants it for the wrong reasons.

Get the iOS16 update.

From a security perspective, the iOS16 update is a definite download for Apple users. Why? Passkeys, a new login feature that is billed by Apple — and confirmed by experts — as a more secure mechanism for storing app credentials. And as an added benefit, passkeys work across all of a user’s devices. Android users will be able to experience passkeys once it is rolled out to them in the coming months. According to CNET, Apple designed its system to protect passkeys from compromise by an attacker or even if an Apple employee gains access to a user’s iCloud account.

 

Online security can seem daunting, and these tips are just the basics. But even the basics will set you up for a safer online experience. 

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