7 Online Security Tips to Save You Time and Money 49 Comments
The following is a guest post. If interested in submitting a guest post, please read my
guest posting policy and then contact me.
People around the world are spending more and more time online, and the opportunities for hackers and damaging viruses abound. Taking security precautions when browsing the Web only takes a few moments, these precautions make it harder for a malicious actor to attack your PC. If you fall victim to an attack this could possibly cost you hundreds of hours and dollars.
If you spend any amount of time on the Internet, you should take precautions to protect your PC and your personal information from potential threats. Here are a few tips for maintaining proper security while still taking advantage of all the Web has to offer.
1. Keep your virus protection software up to date.
Anti-virus software can require updates as more threats are identified and security companies develop patches to protect PCs. If you fail to install a critical update, you could be leaving your PC vulnerable to known attacks.
2. Use secure passwords.
Not every network or other password-protected site has strict guidelines on password creation, but you should follow best practices in creating strong passwords regardless of the site. Avoid using the same password on multiple websites, don’t use easy-to-guess combinations such as children’s names or birthdates, and always use a combination of numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters and special characters if permitted.
3. Avoid financial transactions when using an unsecured or public network.
If you’re connected via a WiFi connection or public network, avoid making financial transactions as the information you send can be accessed by others. It only takes one use of a credit or debit card over an unsecure public network to open the door to identity theft.
4. Use a credit card when shopping online.
When you’re shopping online, don’t pay with your checking account or debit card. Use a credit card for online transactions, because credit card companies typically provide more protection against theft and fraudulent transactions.
5. Only do business with trusted vendors.
It’s also a good idea to shop only with trusted vendors. It’s not always easy to identify a fraudster, however. Stick with widely known companies with an established reputation when possible. If you must purchase from an unknown vendor, look for signs of trust, such as a Google Trusted Stores badge. Never purchase from a site that offers no contact information and no warranty or return policy.
6. Use a newer up to date browser.
Older browsers tend to have security flaws. If your browser prompts you to install a new version, it’s a good idea to do so because you’ll be getting the most up-to-date security features the company offers. Your surfing time may go faster, too, as some Websites stop optimizing for older browser versions over time.
7. Watch for spoofers masquerading as a site you trust.
If you receive an email from your bank, for instance, don’t follow the link provided in the email. It could be a ruse to track your account information when you login. Instead, type the url directly into your address bar. When in doubt, call the company to find out if the email is legitimate.
Taking proper precautions when surfing the Web will leave you less vulnerable to hacks and security breaches. Whether you’re browsing online for work or for play, taking a few minutes to maintain your security will be well worth your time, avoiding the hours of frustration and expensive repairs often needed should your PC become infected or your personal information stolen.
Author Bio: Fergal Glynn is the Director of Product Marketing at Veracode, an award-winning application security company specializing in the prevention of sql injection attacks and other security breaches with effective risk assessment tools.