Four Simple Steps to Staying Secure
Making the most of technology safely and securely can seem overwhelming and confusing. However, regardless of what technology you are using or how you are using it, here are four simple steps that will help you stay secure.
- Unfortunately, technology itself cannot protect you from hackers. Many hackers are now attempting to target you rather than your computer or electronic device. They try to achieve this through deception and trickery. For example, they might call you pretending to be Microsoft tech support, claiming that your computer is infected, asking for access to your computer from you directly. Or, they may send you an email stating your package could not be delivered and you must confirm your physical address, when in fact it is a link to a malicious site. Be cautious and vigilant. TIP: hover over links before clicking and make sure the URL shown in the pop-up box is in fact the authentic website you want to go to, and not a malicious website.
- Make sure your passwords are strong and unique. A great way to ensure this is by using a ‘Paraphrase’ password. A paraphrase password is a type of password that uses a series of words that are easy to remember, such as bee honey sweet rain. The longer the better; it’s harder for hackers to guess. Be sure to use a different password for each of your accounts; so if one gets compromised, all of your other accounts are still safe.
- Be sure to update your devices. If your computers, mobile devices, programs, and apps are current, they are at their least vulnerable. Hackers are always looking for ways to exploit software, but the companies that own the software are also working hard to keep them safe through updates, so don’t ignore them!
- It’s always a good idea to back-up your personal information. Even if you are super careful, you never know if and when you may get hacked; so make sure to make regular back-ups of any important information that you could not live without. TIP: Back-up your data in several places. For example, you can utilize an external hard drive and a cloud back-up service. You can even set-up automatic updates, so you never forget!