10 top tips for staying safe online

Next story

Nowadays if you haven’t had some of your personal data stolen in one breach or another, you are in the vast minority.  

Whether it’s due to one of the high profile, multi-million users breaches of a large company, a phishing email to your place of work, or simply the personal information you willingly post to social media – your data is likely out there.

This may sound scary but with the right knowledge, tricks and software you can still stay as safe as possible online. Here are 10 easy to follow tips for upping your personal security online:

1.       Update your operating system – regardless of your operating system keeping it fully updated is crucial. Those updates are there for a reason; don’t put off installing them just to save a few minutes.

2.       Anti-virus – with the right anti-virus software you shouldn’t even notice it doing its thing, but it could protect you from some very nasty malware.

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 or use a VPN – particularly when shopping or checking your bank account online. You don’t want anyone snooping on your browsing.

6.       Use unique passwords – there are so many reputable password managers out there that can create and store complex, unique passwords for you. There really is no excuse for reusing passwords.

7.       Try not to overshare – your social media accounts could be a treasure trove of information for someone trying to guess your passwords or secret question answers.   

8.       Use 2FA/MFA – two-factor or multi-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 is to adopt as many of these points as you can: the more layers the better!

How many of these tips do you already use? Which are you going to start using now? Let us know on Twitter @ESETUK.

ESET Smart Security Premium is our flagship software for home users. Built on our award-winning NOD32 antivirus, it features modern security essentials like a Password Manager and Encryption, in one convenient package. Find out more here