The internet is a wonderful place to get everything you need but staying safe online has become even more difficult. Whether you are shopping, using social media or reading informational sources, attackers want your data. If you are not ready online, attackers will take advantage of you. This weeks Saturday Security aims to give you some tips on staying safe online.
Online Tips and Tricks
Firstly, by using a VPN, you are staying safe online. A VPN hides your real network place, meaning you will be harder to detect. Some VPNs include, F-Secure and the Opera browser VPN. In the near future, I will be doing a post on some good VPNs to use but for now so I will only be mentioning these. If you want to learn more on VPNs, Quincy Larson from freeCodeCamp.org, wrote a great post on VPNs titled “How to set up a VPN in 10 minutes for free (and why you urgently need one)“, you should check it out (HINT: It’s a 10 minute read).
Secondly, don’t click on links that come in unknown emails sent to you. Places such as email, messaging apps, text and even game chats can be susceptible to attackers posting malicious links. Attackers will use this to gain unauthorised access to your computer, steal credentials and even gain access to your savings.Your own mailbox should put most in your spam folder but some will come through to your inbox.
If you do happen to find a malicious email in your inbox folder (not spam) whether it be at work or at home, stay vigilant and use common sense by not clicking on the link or attachment. Obviously, if you have somewhere to send it for investigation, do that. Otherwise, if you want you can send it to Action Fraud, they have a detailed guide on what to do and give you the option to report the email you have received.
Not Checking Emails or News
If you don’t follow the news or emails, you can put yourself at risk too. Breach emails and news articles for you to be aware of will keep your accounts safe. Ignoring the news means, you won’t know when to reset passwords or check your accounts. Notifications are important, don’t miss them. However, if you email is full of 99+ emails, it might be about time to go through them and sort your inbox out so you can see important email updates, knowledge if power.
Privatise your Social Media!
Another tip is to turn your social media profiles to private. By turning these off, you are in control on who you can add and know. It also means that anything you post won’t be seen my unintended people who may want to know this information to take advantage of you. While on some platforms like LinkedIn, may need to post information about you, only share relevant information as giving too much information (numbers, email, address) will make you vulnerable too. Makeuseof have a great article on making your social media accounts private and explain perfectly why you should.
Giving Away too Much Information
When online, be sure to not tell people you don’t know too much about you. I am not saying you can’t message people but be mindful who you are talking to. Some people have ways to trick people into being their friends or gaining strangers trust and will use this to take advantage of you. Stay safe online and don’t trust everyone you talk to online. Alternatively, like the previous point, keeping your profile private will stop weird people from contacting you.
If you like to re-use your passwords on multiple websites, I suggest you stop. Credential stuffing causes Citrix to urge users to change their passwords and enforce password resets, unless users used two-factor authentication.
Fortunately, there are ways to make passwords different each time. Password managers are a good alternative to keep your passwords safe and to remember passwords, meaning you can make them more complicated to guess. Passwords were covered in last weeks Saturday Security, which can be found here.
Alternatively, if you won’t be able to manage without a password manager or using different passwords, two-factor authentication is for you. By using this, you will be keeping yourself safe online. However, you may need to install an app to help you authenticate access for services like Duo Authenticator or Battle.net Authenticator app. The video below, gives you a brief tutorial of using an authenticator app, such as the Duo authenticator.
Nonetheless, using these apps stop bad people from getting direct access to your account and can help you know if someone is logging into your account. Whether you use the same password all the time or not, using one of these is best recommended to make sure your online accounts stay safe.
Hopefully, this guide should have given you some good tips on staying safe online. If you have any tips, post them below. Alternatively, if you know a good VPN, Security software or websites to help you stay safe, please comment below however, this will be subject to moderation, so no malicious links please.
More Saturday Security…
Check out some of the earlier Saturday Security posts!