Essential Tips for Online Safety & Security
Internet & Mobile Security Blog | MATE | 3 April 2023
With the increasing use of technology in our daily lives, online safety and security are more important than ever. From online shopping to social media, we use the internet for a variety of tasks that require us to share personal information on the web. While most sites follow the right security protocols, some online services can knowingly (or unknowingly) put your data at risk, leading to hacked accounts, unauthorised online purchases or even identity theft. That’s why it’s crucial to protect ourselves from cyber threats that put our personal details at risk.
Top Internet Safety Tips
Use Strong Passwords
It’s time to say goodbye to “Password1” passwords.
It sounds obvious, but one of the most important steps you can take to stay safe online is to use strong passwords. A strong password is one that is difficult for others to guess or crack. It should include a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using easily guessed information such as your name or date of birth in your password. To create a strong password, try using a phrase or a series of words that are easy for you to remember (and swapping out some letters for numbers or symbols).
Another important tip for managing your passwords is to avoid using the same password for multiple accounts. If there’s a data breach or one account is compromised for any reason, all of your other accounts may become vulnerable. Consider using a password manager to generate and store unique passwords for each of your accounts.
Utilise Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication, also known as 2FA, adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring a second form of verification in addition to your password. This can include a code sent to your phone or an app-generated code.
Enabling two-factor authentication is an easy way to protect yourself from cyber threats. It makes it much more difficult for hackers to gain access to your accounts, even if they have your password. Many popular websites and apps now support two-factor authentication, including Google, Facebook and Twitter.
Always Browse on a Secure Network
When using the internet, it’s important to be aware of the risks of using unsecured networks. Public Wi-Fi networks, in particular, can be vulnerable to hackers. To protect yourself while browsing on public Wi-Fi, avoid accessing sensitive information (such as online banking or credit card information) on a public internet server.
Alternatively, you can use a virtual private network (VPN) to secure your connection, especially if you’re not at home or using a shared computer. A VPN encrypts your internet connection, making it more difficult for hackers to access your personal information.
Social Media Safety
Social media is a great way to stay connected with friends and family, but it can also pose a risk to your personal information. To protect yourself on social media, be mindful of the information you share and who you share it with. Avoid sharing sensitive information such as your home address or phone number.
It’s also important to be aware of suspicious activity on your social media accounts. If you notice any strange activity (like suspicious messages from people or posts that you didn’t make), report it immediately. Whether it’s on social media, via text or emails or anywhere else online, keep your digital guard up by not clicking on suspicious links.
Online Shopping Safety
Online shopping has become increasingly popular, but it’s important to be aware of its risks. To protect yourself while shopping online, make sure to shop from reputable websites and be mindful of suspicious emails or messages that claim to be from online retailers. If you do fall for one of the many online scams out there, the scammers may gain access to your personal or financial information/bank details.
When you shop online, always use a secure payment method such as a credit card or PayPal to add an extra layer of security. Should scammers or hackers gain access to your financial details, your bank or Paypal will be able to assist you in getting the money back.