10 tips and tricks for staying safe online

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Malware is constantly on the rise and it seems like large scale breaches are an almost daily event. Headline grabbing breaches are just the tip of the iceberg however: multitudes of normal computer users will be infected with malware and potentially have their precious data stolen every day. With that in mind, here are 10 tips for staying as safe as possible while you explore the internet.

  1. Update your operating system – regardless of your operating system keeping it fully updated is crucial. It will not only potentially help performance and compatibility but should patch known security flaws.
  2. Real-time up-to-date Anti-virus running at all times – with a low footprint, auto-updating anti-virus solution you’ll forget it’s there until it stops a piece of malware getting onto your machine or you need to run a scan.
  3. Backup your data – you can do this manually onto an external HDD/USB stick, or automatically using backup automation software to a NAS drive or server. This is also the best way to counter ransomware!
  4. Watch where you click! – always be suspicious of links in emails, on social media, or on the web in general: verify the email sender if possible and if in doubt, don’t click.
  5. Avoid public Wi-Fi where possible or use a VPN – particularly when shopping online or checking your bank account online: you don’t want anyone trying to snoop on your traffic.
  6. Use unique passwords – develop a system for creating and remembering passwords or use a reputable password manager.
  7. Watch out for attachments – along the same lines as not clicking links with reckless abandon, if you have any doubts then don’t download and open attachments: verify the sender and definitely don’t open it if it’s unsolicited.
  8. Always use 2FA if it’s available – two-factor authentication is a low cost way of adding an extra layer of security and all it requires is a phone or hardware token.
  9. Encrypt your sensitive data – encryption is increasingly becoming a required part of security legislation and certainly doesn’t hurt if you want to use it on your own computer.
  10. Multiple-layers are key – the best way to protect yourself however is to adopt as many of these points as you can: the more layers the better!


Anymore tips and tricks of your own to add to the list?


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