Social Media makes life easier to get in touch with your loved ones, however, one has to be careful of becoming a victim of cyber crime. Emails that you receive from friends, or even from your bank may contain malware attachments that have computer viruses, worms, spyware, scareware and other malicious programs.
Below we list technical solutions to prevent you from becoming a victim to a hacker or scammer:
1. Use Anti-Virus Software
It is very important to use anti-virus software on your PC or laptop – blocking possible viruses. The software will help keep your personal information safe, as one wrong click can result in possibly losing all your valued information.
2. Avoid Identity Theft
The easier your password, the easier it will be to hack your computer. Don’t use the same password for various apps and logins. Try to increase the strength of your password by making it unpredictable to the public. We recommend having passwords that have at least eight characters – including a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. Hackers target people with weak passwords.
3. Don’t Bank On Public WiFi
Most WiFi hotspots do not prevent unauthorised information access. Once your private information, or piece of data leaves your device, it may fall into the wrong hands. When doing online banking, be alert to the risks of using public WiFi – you are transferring sensitive data.
4. Don’t Fall For Pop-Up
Avoid those strange emails that pop-up asking you to enter your username or password – it’s a trap. Choose to open your browser and go directly to the site. If you are not sure about the company pop-up, call the company – credible companies will never ask for personal information via an e-mail.
5. Lock Down Your FB Account
To avoid fake identity, do not include your home address, telephone number, date of birth and any other identifying information to your public profile. Change your privacy settings to “friends” from “friends to friends”. Only friends you knowingly accepted will see your information.
6. Only Shop Online On Secure Sites
Avoid entering your card details without checking if the locked padlock or unbroken key symbol is showing in your browser tab . Always bear in mind that the beginning of the online retailer’s internet address will change from “HTTP” to “HTTPs” to show that the connection is secure. Re-check sites and be careful of those that change to HTTP once you have logged on.
7. Turn on Auto-Update
Make sure you have the latest security update, as hackers take advantage of Web browsers – Internet Explorer, Firefox, operating systems software – Windows or Mac’s OS. It is important to set your operating system and Web browser software to automatically download and install security patches – operating system companies issue security patches for flaws they find in their systems.
8. Have a Back-Up Plan
Following the above mentioned tips will help protect you from cyber crime, however, it is important to have a backup plan. Always duplicate your important files stored on your computer onto a removable disc or an external hard drive. Store it in a safe place or upload files to a secure online service such as My Dropbox.
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