While our daily online activity continues to grow, so does our exposure to online threats. Multiply this by the sheer amount of devices through which we can access the Internet, and the risk of our personal information falling into the wrong hands increases exponentially.
Tips below will increase your online safety.
- Protect your identity: use different user names and passwords for your accounts and make sure your passwords contain a combination of letters, numbers and symbols.
- Turn on your firewall: the University uses a firewall to help secure its infrastructure. Having one on your personal computer will help protect it from viruses and malware.
- Use anti-virus software: a multitude of free and paid anti-virus software exists to help protect your personal computers, tablets and smartphones. Install one on each device that connects to the Internet, and remember to update it regularly.
- Block spyware attacks: like anti-virus software, anti-spyware software prevents spyware from making its way onto your computer.
- Install the latest operating system updates: take the time to check for the latest Windows/Mac updates, or turn on automatic updates and let your computer do the work in the background.
- Routinely back up your files: remember to back up your files to an external hard drive, removable media, or to the cloud so that you have access to them in the event of a system failure or virus.
- Protect your wireless network: password protect your home wireless network, and change the password regularly if multiple people access it.
- Ignore and delete emails from unknown senders: never open emails or attachments from people you don’t know. Ignore these messages and delete them immediately.
- Surf the Web safely: only make online purchases from trusted sources, and make sure your privacy settings are turned on when accessing your social networking sites (Facebook, twitter, etc…). You don’t want your personal information falling into the wrong hands!
- When in doubt, get expert help: consult a computer expert if you need help installing software on your computer, and report any suspicious computing activity (scams, identity theft attempts) to the police.