Online Safety Tips for People Born Before the Net
Do you remember life before the internet? Before Wi-Fi? It felt simpler and safer.
Now, we are more connected than ever before. We are also more exposed.
Our homes are connected through the Internet of Things (IoT) smart devices. We are on social media channels. Even our banking is online.
That’s why we must take all measures to protect ourselves with our online activities and when using our connected devices. Forget the rules of the past.
Here are 5 top things can do today to keep your privacy and safety online:
1. If you didn’t ask for the email or call, it’s bad news.
People have ways of getting to our personal information. The worst way is when they trick us into handing it over. This happens a lot with scammer emails. As spam filters and other protection gets better, so do the scammers.
What you can do:
Never click on links or attachments in emails if you do not personally know the sender. Even if they are from a bank or online store you recognize, they could be faked and riddled with viruses.
If a company contacts you to do business with them, check out their official website’s help section first. Inquire there if this is a real request before taking any action in the email or phone call you received.
If you get an unexpected phone call from someone that wants any of the following, hang up:
- Asking you to purchase something from them or for them
- Asking for personal information
- Tech support
- Claiming you won a prize
2. Delete old and junk emails to unclutter your email inbox (and phone inbox).
Clear the junk or tempting emails out of your inbox. This way, it is easier to focus on safe emails and identify the scammer ones. You can avoid clutter by being cautious of handing out your email to websites or others.
You can also register for the “Do Not Call” registry list to avoid or reduce the number of scammer calls you receive.
3. Make sure everything is protected with a strong password.
Make sure everything is password protected. And make sure to create secure passwords that are unique and strong. If they are strong in the first place, you won’t need to change them often. The only reason to change a password often is if it is stolen.
A strong password contains a long-phrase mixed with special characters, numbers and mixed-case letters.
These can get lengthy and hard to remember, but don’t risk writing them down to be stolen. Use a password manager tool to keep them written down for you in a secure way.
4. Use two-step authentication
This step echoes a strong password. What it means is that once you type in the password, a code or email is sent to you on a separate device to verify you are really the person logging in. This helps deter hackers and scammers.
5. We all make mistakes. We just need to learn from them.
At the end of the day, remember that no one is perfect and that the internet is vast. It is full of activity. It is full of convincing content. Unfortunately, cybercriminals will always find a way to get something they want.
By following these taking these precautions, you can reduce your risk online. Always make sure to run updates and security checks on your devices as well as a backup.
Are you wondering where you can get more information on Internet and Wi-Fi safety? Check out Actiontec’s blog or learn more on Actiontec’s Complete Guide to Wi-Fi security for your home network.