How to Stay Safe Shopping Online this Black Friday and Always.(2)
1. Use Complex Passwords Always.
Almost everyone has heard this but most of us aren’t doing it because we are afraid of forgetting our passwords. But creating strong, unique passwords for all your critical accounts really is by far, the best way to keep your personal and financial information safe. Best advice: use a password manager (more on this in a later post) to help you store, remember and create strong passwords for all of your accounts. Also, it is a great suggestion that you change your passwords regularly. Even if your password is ever compromised, by changing it regularly across all your accounts you will be limiting the potential damages.
2. Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) Whenever Possible.
2-factor authentication adds another layer of security when logging into a website, be it e-mail, banking, or other websites. Many websites and marketplaces, will text you a code when you login to verify your identity, while others have small devices that you can carry around to generate the code by yourself. There are also Authenticator apps and other popular two-factor authentication that are in use, look in the settings of your banking, shopping, e-mail hosts and favorite for the applicable option.
3. Watch What You Click.
Not everything available for clicking is for you, because the threats of careless clicking are real and huge. The truth is many online threats are based on social engineering or phishing that tricked the victims into revealing personal or sensitive information for fraudulent purposes. Spam emails, phony “free” offers, click bait, online quizzes and more all use these tactics to entice you to click on dangerous links or give up your personal information. Always be wary of offers that sound too good to be true, or ask for too much information.
4. Share Information Carefully.
Almost everything we do these days require we share our personal information, but we must do this cautiously and intelligently. Always give second thought before sharing especially your personal information online. This can proof costly especially by the threats of impersonators.
5. Signup for Login Notifications.
This security layer is often used in place of two-factor authentication, including by websites such as Facebook, Google. If your account is accessed from an unfamiliar location, a notification is sent via e-mail, app, or text-message to the account holder. This is a great layer of security that offers you on-the-go protection. This feature, if offered, can usually be found in the security settings of the website, such as banking and social media, you are accessing.
6. Protect Your Mobile.
All mobile devices are just as vulnerable to threats as our laptops. In fact, it could be said they are even more exposed to threats, threats with so many risky apps and various “fake” and dangerous links sent by friends and family through SMS and IMs. Be watchful of what you click, be careful of responses to strange messages, and download apps only from official app stores (and mostly after reading other users’ reviews). Get your security app installed and enabled on your mobile devices.
7. Smartly Surf & Shop.
When shopping online, or visiting websites for online banking or other sensitive transactions, always make sure that the site’s address starts with “https”, instead of just “http”, and has a padlock icon in the URL field. This indicates that the website is secure and uses encryption to scramble your data so that strangers can’t intercept it. Also, be on the lookout for websites that have misspellings or bad grammar in their addresses. They could be copycats of legitimate websites.
8. Update Software and Apps Regularly.
Most apps and software release the latest security patches on regular bases to keep you safe. Turn on automatic updates so you can have yourself protected always, and ensure that your security software run regular scan of your devices.
9. Beware of The Latest Scams.
Online threats are evolving all the time, so make sure you know what to look out for. There are “ransomware” – this is when a hacker threatens to lock you out of all of your files unless you agree to pay a ransom.
10. Stay on Guard.
The best way to stay safe is to be careful with what you do online, which sites you visit, and what you share. As they say; “it is better to err on the side of caution.”
- Google Security: https://www.google.com/settings/security
- Facebook Security: https://www.facebook.com/help/securitytips
- Twitter Security: https://support.twitter.com/articles/76036-safe-tweeting-the-basics
- Secure Password Generator: http://passwordsgenerator.net/
- Google Chrome Security Settings: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/114836?hl=en
- Firefox Security Settings: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/products/firefox/privacy-and-security
- Internet Explorer Security Settings: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/change-internet-explorer-security-settings#1TC=windows-7
- Microsoft Outlook Two-step authentication: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/two-step-verification-faq
- Google Two-Step authentication: https://support.google.com/a/answer/175197?hl=en
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December 14, 2017