Tis the season to stay safe online

Here are some basic hints and tips that you should consider – in order to keep yourself safe at home and at college during the christmas period and the rest of the year.

  1. Ensure that the E-commerce website you are using has an HTTPS connection with a valid encryption certificate. This advice has not changed and indeed all reputable websites should now be running on https. Simply don’t visit or give a site any details that is not implementing this level of security.
  2. Setup Two Factor authentication on all your eMail accounts, social media accounts. If there is a single step that will help keep criminals away from your data this is it. What this means is that even if a criminal gets your password, they will need something additional like your mobile phone in order to be able to log into your account. Have a look at  twofactorauth.org
  3. Always use strong passwords. Think passphrase instead of password.  Use a reputable Password manager if you must to manage these. Do not re-use passwords across different accounts
  4. Be cautious about online offers. The old maxim if it is too good to be true it probably is.  You simply do not get picked at random to win a prize when you didn’t enter for it in the first place!
  5. Do not conduct sensitive activities like Online shopping or Banking using a public wi-fi network. Free Open Wi-FI networks are a hackers dream for getting your data because of the pack of security measures.
  6. Think and check before you click on any link in your eMail or in your SMS messages. Phishing continues to be the number one way that criminals get their hands on your data.
  7. SMiSHING is a growing threat you need to be as vigilant when clicking on links in SMS messages as email. Especially now as many logistics companies use SMS to improve the delivery experience. Check where the link is going to. If you don’t recognise the sender – do not click.
  8. Make sure you run anti-malware and virus software on your computers and your smart phones. They are a must but they will not stop everything as virus writers write in excess of 50,000 new viruses every day.