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HOW TO BE SAFER ONLINE


We shop, book holidays and share our family photos online nowadays, but how safe are we online? It isn’t always easy to be safe online unless you know what you are looking out for. There are so many different areas of online safety, so where you may excel in password strength or network security, you could be failing badly at keeping yourself anonymous or not sharing sensitive information. Here are some of the things to look out for when it comes to staying safe online, and how you can be as safe as possible. 

Passwords 

This is the most obvious way to stay safe on the internet, and yet still one that people so frequently get wrong. Having a strong password means more than thinking up a random word that no one could guess as your password, and then putting a ‘1’ or an ‘!’ after it. You need to have various levels of password security that will be able to put off a hacker as well as the person that sits next to you at work or school. It is best to run your password through an online password security checker before you commit to it. 

You must also try to use unique passwords for every site, even if this just means changing one or two letters or numbers for each one. By doing this, if one of your passwords is cracked, you won’t lose everything. 

Browser security 

Keeping your browser secure is another important and common thing to focus on, and another thing that so many people get wrong. Yes, you should have anti-virus software and malware protection that will protect you if you click on a link which could infect your computer, but there are other things to look out for as well. 

Make sure that when you are entering passwords, bank details and other sensitive information into a web page, the URL shows ‘https’ as opposed to just ‘http’. Try to find out what the most common phishing scams and other types of scams are at the moment so that you can look out for them and avoid falling for a fake email or link. Finally, make sure that if you are on a computer that is shared, even with people that you know, that you sign out of all of your accounts before you walk away. 

It may be worth looking into an anonymous browser if you want the top level of browser security. This may require a little more knowledge of the internet and security, but something like the Tor browser is a simple way to go. 

Are you safe online or could you be safer?

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