T.I.P. - Safe Internet Usage
December 9, 2019
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s rare to go one day without using the internet. So, it’s important to understand how to navigate it safely. Are you actively practicing the following tips?
- When creating a password, include a mix of numbers, symbols, and uppercase and lowercase letters. If you struggle to remember your complex passwords, try one of the following tricks.
- Try abbreviating a phrase. For example, “Soda at dinner keeps you up at night” could become “S@dkUu@n!”.
- Use a favorite quote or line from a song, book, or movie. For example, “May the force be with you” could become “M@ythe4ceBw/U”.
- Avoid using the same passwords for multiple accounts. While harder to remember, it will keep your information safer.
- Longer passwords are always stronger, and some websites have length requirements you must follow.
- Avoid using common passwords like “123456” or “password” and easily guessed or accessed information like a nickname, birthdate, or street name.
Password managers automatically generate and store strong, unique passwords for each of your accounts. You create one master password for the manager and let it keep all others safe.
- Some are available for free and premium services charge fees.
- Your browser’s built-in password syncing service is an example but considered less safe and more vulnerable to hacking.
Multi-factor authentication makes an account more secure by requiring extra information before you may log in – such as a code sent to your phone. Many large email providers, social media accounts, and financial institutions offer this service.
To check whether an account has multi-factor authentication, check the site’s Settings page. This extra step might seem annoying, but it will keep your information safer than just a password alone.
Use Encrypted Sites
When shopping or logging into an online bank account, check the URL to make sure it starts with “https” instead of “http.” The “s” indicates the website is secure and encrypts data so it can’t be stolen. Generally, secure sites also have a small lock icon in the URL field.
Although convenient to save your payment information on a shopping site, do so with caution. It can put you at risk if the site gets hacked.
Download Apps from Verified Stores
The easiest way for viruses to get into your phone is through downloads like apps. You should not download apps from anywhere except official stores like the Apple App Store or Google Play.
Remember to review the requirements, terms, and conditions before installing. Although parts may be long and boring, it is important to know exactly what is being installed on your device.