It’s hard to imagine life now without the Internet, it offers so many opportunities to explore, create and collaborate. But it’s important to keep yourself and your business safe and secure, so that you can make the most of it.  These tips and tools can help you navigate the web safely and are simply good to know.

1. Create secure passwords

Most hacks today are the result of theft of information, but here’s the most obvious lesson:  Never write your passwords down!

When creating your secure password, follow these tips:

  • Don’t use anything that is related to you
  • Include numbers on punctuation in non-obvious places
  • Add the first letter of the website to the beginning or end of your password
  • Come up with your own idea
  • Changing passwords all of the time is ineffective at best; potentially counter-productive
  • Keep different levels of passwords
  • Use different passwords on each site
  • Do not use your email account or banking passwords anywhere else
  • Be careful about security questions.  They can provide you with a false sense of security and the best security questions are the ones that only you know the answers to.

2. Check your firewall and anti-virus software

Always make sure that you update your operating system, browsers and software as soon as a new version is available.  These updates often contain important security fixes and the longer you wait, the longer your computer can be vulnerable.  Here are other tips:

  • Make sure you have a firewall and that it is configured properly
  • Virus protection software is not 100% effective by nature
  • Virus protection relies entirely on signatures
  • Run anti-malware software – install trusted programs and watch out for fake programs from pop-up windows

3. Never click on emails asking you to login

Phishing Scams are fake emails that are intended to look like legitimate emails from a company you already do business with like banks, online merchants (Amazon, eBay, PayPal), Internet Service providers and Webmail providers.  Never click on emails asking you to login to anything.  Those links could send you to a fake but almost identical login in site and record your login and username.  If you do receive an email requiring you to login, your safest bet is to open a new window browser and type in the company’s web address.  This ensures that you are on the correct site.


4.  Beware of suspicious emails

Always be suspicious of emails, even if they look like they are coming from a friend.  You can never be too cautious and it’s better to be safe than sorry!  Being proactive with your security should be a priority and can save you a lot of trouble down the road



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