The Internet is a public network. Everyone has access to a lot of information these days. Are you keeping your personal information safe on your computer? Here are some helpful tips to keep your information safe.
- Password Protection: When using online services (email, shopping, finance accounts), create a password that only YOU know. Using part of your social, birthdays, pet’s name and maiden name are easy to figure out. Create one that is hard to crack. A capital letter, phrase, number and symbol are good to have in each password.
- Visa Verified: When shopping online, there is a symbol that pops up when the company is verified by Visa. In a nutshell it means that the company has proved themselves to Visa that they are a reputable company and it is safe to shop there. (see link below for more information about Visa Verified)
- Firewalls: This is a protective shield between your computer and the outside world. It reduces threats to your home computer by filtering out potentially dangerous data and preventing any unauthorized access to your computer. You want to make sure that your firewalls are up to date. The software company might not notify you by email. So it’s a good idea to go to their website and check and then update the software when needed.
- Anti-Virus Software: This should be installed on all Internet connected computers. A lot of computers come with Anti-Virus software. When buying a computer, ask the sales rep and make sure. The Anti-virus software is like your yearly flu shot. New viruses come up every day, it seems like, so you want to make sure you have this software updated each year.
- Sending Emails: Emails are not always encrypted and safe. It’s a good idea to not email out your personal information.
- Disconnect: An intruder cannot attack your computer if it’s turned off. When going out of town or when you’re not using your computer, it’s good practice to turn it off from the internet.
Remembering your passwords… We all have SO many online accounts to keep track of how can we remember all of these passwords. Here is an idea.
1st password: Word and a 2 digit number
2nd password: Word, 2 digit number and a symbol
3rd: Phrase and a 2 digit number
4th: Phrase, 2 digit number and symbols.
When you change ONE password, go in and change them all.