Tips for staying safe online

Worried about online safety? Protect yourself and your devices from hacking, viruses and phishing scams with these tips.

1. Updates

Software updates can pop up at the most inconvenient times – but they’re designed to keep your machine protected against security flaws and common types of malware, so don’t put off installing them.

Keep your firewall turned on (Windows and OS X both have them built-in) and anti-virus software up to date.

2. Passwords

Common advice is to include a number, uppercase letter and a symbol. While this is good, if you want to be really secure, long multi-word passwords are key. For example, an eight letter lowercase word is crackable in a few minutes, compared to 20 characters combining more than one word that could take more than 225 billion years!

3. More than a password

Some online services such as Gmail, LinkedIn and Dropbox allow you to use two-factor authentication. This means that, in addition to your password, you can have a verification code sent to your mobile phone as an extra layer of security, keeping your data extra secure.

4. Email scams

Spoof or ‘phishing’ emails are very common. If you receive an email from your bank or another company that requests any information, such as a password or personal details, always check it’s legitimate by calling your bank on the number on the back of your card or from a bank statement – never use the number given in the email. And never open attachments or links from an address you don’t recognise.

5. Online Banking

Many banks recommend installing an extra piece of software (most banks use “Rapport”) that will help to keep you safe and is designed to protect confidential data and reduce the risk of phishing attacks. If in doubt, ask your bank for advice.

If you have any concerns about staying safe online, or want further advice, please contact us on 01372 642 601 or email hello@techgecko.co.uk.

TgTips – 5 ways to stay safe online
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