5 Ways That you Can Be Safer Online

Whether you are a teenage geek or the CEO of a major corporation, the moment you connect to the World Wide Web, you are at risk of data theft. There is an unseen war going on between hackers and cyber-security professionals who are tasked with stopping all forms of cyber-crime and there are a few things that you can do to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of cyber-criminals.

  1. Scan memory sticks – If you are in need of a document print, think twice before you plug your USB stick into a computer, as it could easily be infected. It is always best to run a scan before opening any new files, just in case. Any drive-to-drive connection where one of the drives is unknown to you would put you at risk of a virus infection.
  2. Do not open unexpected email attachments – Some cyber-criminals attach .exe files to emails with headings like ‘open your free gift’ or ‘look what we found?’ and if you double click on the attachment, your computer will be infected with the malware and who knows where that will lead? If you would like to find out more about cyber-security in general, talk to a managed IT services provider.
  3. Change passwords often – Avoid weak passwords and definitely don’t use your DOB; better still, use a password generator and that will save to the device. Password hacking software has developed enough to make it a tool for cyber-thieves and while you can never 100% be sure, changing passwords weekly is a good preventative measure to take.  Never save the password when using it on a shared computer, as this could be found by a hacker. Here are a few tips to streamline your business processes.
  4. Use an up-to-date anti-virus program – There are new viruses coming out daily and if your virus database is not up to date, it might not recognize a new piece of code and it will slip by your defenses. If you are using a free online antivirus application, this will offer basic protection, but you are still at risk; subscription anti-virus software is advised and if you run a business, talk to a Tampa based IT support company for the best cyber protection.
  5. Don’t give your personal data without good reason – Your personal data is valuable and could lead to identity theft; phishing websites request that the user fills in the information fields and what looks like a legitimate bank website, is actually a copy managed by a hacker. This could clear out your bank account in minutes, so do be careful about when you give out personal details.

If you would like to report a cyber-crime, the FBI will certainly investigate the matter and we all need to be aware of the risks we take when surfing the Internet. We all leave digital footprints behind after using digital devices and this should always be at the forefront of your mind.