27 Oct

Internet Safety - Protect your identity and money

Internet safety is becoming a major concern these days given that technology has connected our lives to the internet. In this post, we will outline the ways you can stay safe on the internet.

 

Computer access

Only allow remote access to your computer if you trust them, ie your internet service provider or IT support company.  If in doubt, take the telephone number of the caller and say you will call them back. Then check the telephone number is legitimate against the contact details listed on the company website.

Secure passwords

Create passwords which are long and unique with random numbers and upper and lower case letters. The longer the password the harder it is to guess. A password with 10 digits is stronger than 8 digits.  Make sure you change passwords regularly and don’t share them. We recommend using Dashlane password manager as it secures your passwords, helps you create more secure passwords, automatically logs you into websites and synchronises you passwords across all of your devices.

Antivirus

Ensure you have an antivirus program and make sure virus definitions are up to date. Your antivirus will check for malicious computer programs and monitor files as you open them. Keeping software up to date is essential for your internet safety to protect against the most recent viruses. If you choose to buy software online, ensure the supplier is genuine. We recommend Bitdefender Total Security as it is world class protection and provides many other features in addition to antivirus including identity protection and safe banking.

Software and Apps

Understand the software you install on your PC and phone and use a secure site when buying software for your computer or apps for your tablet or smartphone. A secure website address should begin with https not http.

Firewall

Make sure your firewall is always on. A firewall is a security shield that stops fraudsters getting into your computer. Operating systems such as Windows has a built-in firewall. They can monitor and warn you of unexpected access to your computer. Antivirus programs such as Bitdfender Total Security have their own firewalls which override the built-in firewall and provide a higher level of protection.

Operating Systems Updates

Installing operating system updates will ensure you have the latest patches which fix vulnerabilities in the system. Examples of operating systems are Windows and OSX. Vulnerability patches protect your PC from being exploited remotely.

Web Browser

Install the latest version of your web browser, for example, Internet Explorer, which will have the latest security features. For extra protection, a good antivirus program such as Bitdefender Total Security will maintain a list of malicious websites and will protect you from accessing a malicious site.

Email

Don’t open suspicious emails or attachments from unknown senders, email attachments, eg. if the email has a subject heading that doesn’t seem right.  No legitimate company will ever ask you to provide your log-in details, such as your password or user id. Only enter this information when you log into a service such as online banking. Antivirus software with scan your outgoing and incoming emails, quarantining threats.

Secure Shopping

When making payments on a website, ensure the link is secure. Establishing that you have a secure link can be done in 3 ways:

  • Check that there is a padlock symbol on the left-hand side of the browser address bar, which appears when you are logging in or registering.
  • Ensure that the padlock is not on the web page – This may suggest that the site is malicious.
  • Check the web address begins ‘https://’. The ‘s’ means ‘secure’. If you’re using the latest version of a browser, the site name or address bar turns green.

Also, check that the web address matches the name of the company you are shopping with. For example, if you are shopping at Amazon UK, then address should be amazon.co.uk and not any variation such as: shopping.amazon.co.uk or store-amazon.co.uk

Conclusion

Internet safety is becoming more important in our lives today. With the march of technology and the rise of the cyber-criminal, there are more and more ways for us to be exploited.

If you think your internet safety needs improving, but need a little help, contact is now. We offer free advice and can check and secure your PC with industry leading software.

Call us on 0203 6376 370 or start a live chat.

 

 

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