If you have a compromised computer, then you can be at risk for money loss, phishing scams, or even identity theft. Read on for steps you can take to ensure your online safety.
Avoid fake sites
If you’re browsing a site you don’t usually use, then ask yourself these questions to make sure it’s safe:
- Does your browser warn you against visiting the site? Your browser’s warnings are based on actual data and user reports.
- Is the website full of grammar mistakes and typos? If a site looks like it was written by a second-grader, then leave.
- Is the site secure? Only visit sites with an “HTTPS” and not just an “HTTP” in the address bar.
- Does the digital footprint check out? Search for the company’s name online to see what’s being said about them.
- Is there a legitimate “Contact us” section? There should be a real physical address and phone number for the business.
- Are there a lot of ads? If a website is covered in ads, then it’s likely a fake.
- Check the shipping and return policies. If you can’t find this information, then the site is probably bogus.
- Is the web address authentic? When redirected to another site, check the new URL to see if it matches the original company.
Practice password safety
It’s the key to your online life – keep it safe! Here’s how:
- Use a password generator. It’s best to use a password generator like 1Password or LastPass. These services can generate a secure password for every site you visit.
- Change your password. If you’d rather not use a password generator, then change your passwords every 30-40 days.
- Never use the same password for multiple sites. Use a unique code for each site and service you use.
- Use strong passwords. Choose passwords that include a mixture of capital letters, numbers, letters, and symbols.
Update your browser
Perhaps the most important step of online safety is keeping your browser updated. With just one click, you’ll increase your browser’s security.
Above all else, an updated browser provides better security. Internet companies are constantly looking for ways to protect you and keep you safer; take full advantage of their efforts by always using the latest version.
An updated browser offers stronger protection against the most recent scams, phishing attacks, viruses, Trojans, and more. Newer browsers have also fixed security weaknesses that may be present in your older browser.
Updating your browser is quick and easy. Late-model computers will update automatically as soon as new improvements are released to the public. If your computer is older, then you can choose the “auto-update” feature available on some browsers for the same results. Otherwise, you can update your browser manually by following the instructions on your browser. These are typically easy to follow and take just a few clicks.
Check out our infographic below for more online safety tips.
Your Turn: How do you keep safe online? If you have some tips, share the best ones with us in the comments.
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