Tips to Protect Your Security Online
Internet & Mobile Security Blog | MATE | 24 November 2022
While the internet has come a long way in keeping us better connected than ever before, it has also made it much easier for people to access our personal information online. With the average Australian using a number of different online accounts—each containing a store of personal details—the need to take precautions to protect your online identity has never been more important. In this blog, we arm you with the knowledge you need to keep your online information safe from the likes of malicious software, phishing scams and identity theft. Let’s get you up to speed!
Use strong passwords
One of the most simple and effective ways to protect your online accounts is to use strong passwords. A strong password is one that is sufficiently long and includes a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Avoid using easily guessed words or phrases like “password”, “123456” or your date of birth.
Use different passwords
It’s also important not to use the same password for each of your online accounts. That way, if one password is compromised, a hacker won’t be able to gain access to your other online accounts.
Use a password manager
To keep track of your multiple passwords, cybersecurity experts have suggested that cloud-based password managers can be a smart and secure way to store and keep track of all your online passwords.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an extra layer of security that can be added to your online accounts. When 2FA is enabled, you’ll be prompted to enter a code that is sent to your phone or email address whenever you try to log in. This code acts as an extra barrier to stop anyone who has your password from accessing your account. While 2FA isn’t foolproof, it’s a valuable tool for protecting your online accounts.
Browse using a secure VPN
A virtual private network (VPN) encrypts your internet traffic and disguises your online identity, making it much harder for anyone to spy on your online activity. This is especially important if you’re using public Wi-Fi, as these networks are often insecure and easy for hackers to access.
With many web browsers such as Google Chrome or Firefox often collecting data on your digital activities, it’s worth considering logging out of your browser and employing a VPN extension before enjoying some online shopping.
Keep your software up to date
One of the easiest (but often overlooked) ways to protect your online information is to keep your software up to date. This includes both your operating system (e.g. Microsoft Windows, Apple macOS and Google ChromeOS) and any apps that you have installed. Software updates often include important security patches that can help to protect your devices and accounts from the latest online threats. Whenever a new update is available, be sure to install it as soon as possible.
Install good security software
Security software can help to protect your devices and accounts from a range of online threats, including viruses, malware, and phishing scams. It’s important to choose a security suite that is well-reviewed and compatible with your devices. Once you’ve found a good security solution, be sure to keep it up to date to ensure that you’re always protected against the latest online threats.
Strengthen your privacy settings on social media
Social media platforms are a great way to stay in touch with friends and family, but it’s important to be aware of the privacy risks that they pose. Many social media platforms have weak privacy settings that allow anyone to see your posts and personal information. To help protect your information, take the time to review and strengthen the privacy settings on all of your social media accounts.
Be aware of phishing scams
Phishing is a type of online scam in which criminals pose as a trustworthy entity in order to trick you into giving them your personal information. Phishing scams can take many different forms, including emails, text messages, and pop-up ads. They often appear to come from a reputable source, such as a bank or government agency. To protect yourself from phishing scams, never click on links or attachments from sources that you don’t trust. If you’re ever unsure about a communication that you’ve received, contact the supposed sender directly to confirm its authenticity.