How to keep safe online

12 February 2019 > General, How to's,

Technology makes up a huge part of how we live our lives; it’s in how we complete little or big chores, how we make decisions, how we communicate; and Kiwis are well aware of how important it is to stay safe online, not only for them but also their families.

So what are some things that you can do to increase your safety while online?

Boost your security with Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

This is simply an extra layer of security for your online accounts. With 2FA, not only will your password protect your account, but if this fails, 2FA is the backup layer to protect you. Once the password is entered correctly, you will be brought to the next screen which generally allows for a txt or email to be sent to a specified phone number or email address that will have a pin that needs to be entered to gain access to the account.

Strengthen your passwords

Combining a strong password with 2FA is a great way to keep your personal information private. Here are some quick tips for a strong password:

  • Make sure your password is at least 15 characters’ long.
  • Use a unique phrase instead of just one word.
  • Use a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and other characters – it only has to make sense to you.
  • Always use a different password for each account.
  • Don’t choose a password with personal information – this can be easily guessed.
  • AND change your passwords regularly

Keep up to date with current scams and ALWAYS be wary of ‘unbelievable’ offers

Always be suspicious of anything out of the ordinary, even if it’s just a stranger or business that have sent you an email with a link. If you are concerned, delete it or call a local IT provider.

A good rule of thumb is that if an email is real and is super important and you have deleted, whoever sent it will be in touch again, so don’t be afraid to delete it if you are worried.

Shop safe – only use trusted WiFi connections

Shopping online is almost unavoidable these days. It’s where the deals are, and all those products that you just can’t find at your local shops. So when shopping online, make sure you check for the padlock symbol in the browser, and only enter your credit card details on a webpage that starts with ‘https://’. The ‘s’ stands for secure and means your payment information is encrypted.

Keep your devices up to date

When updates become available on your device, install them right away. These aren’t just for new features. Quite often they provide you with an increased level of security or fix current problems with your device.

If you don’t keep your device updated, it could mean that it is more vulnerable, meaning an attacker has a better chance of accessing your device and private information.

Think before you post

Posting to social media is great – it’s a super simple way of keeping in touch with many people at once. However, did you know that, depending on your privacy settings, people who are not your friends could be accessing your information and photos? It’s worth a quick check of your settings to make sure that you have a private account.

Keep your kids safe

Children and teenagers are very vulnerable when it comes to the Internet, and try as you might, they could still find themselves experiencing the dangers of the Internet. By keeping them involved in conversations about what they can do if they get into trouble, and letting them know they can always talk to an adult if something untoward happens, are the most important things.

Because technology and social sharing is such a huge part of our daily lives these days, it is very important to be aware of how vulnerable you or your family may be when surfing the Internet. By applying some of these tips to your online accounts, you will drastically improve your online safety.

If you have any queries about your online safety, contact your local IT team.

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