15 October 2014

Posted by Discount Insurance on Wednesday, October 15, 2014
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1. Keep your software up to date
New viruses are being created all the time so it is important you keep your security software up to date to combat malware that can infect and damage your computer.

Installing updates can feel like a pain, especially when you have things you need to get on with, but many can run happily in the background and it’ll be worth it in the long run!
2. Make passwords long and strong
Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password. Avoid using things that can be easily guessed such as date of birth, favourite football teams, or names of significant others.

Some of the more common services (such as Gmail and LinkedIn) offer SMS-based 2-factor authentication, meaning that you have to type a secret code that gets sent to you via SMS to log into an account on a new device. This means that hackers need more than just your password to log into your account.

3. Avoid malicious websites and unsolicited emails
Often unsolicited or ‘spam’ emails will try to trick you into browsing suspect websites or entering your card details. The best advice is to never open unsolicited emails and not to click on any links inside them.

When in doubt, throw it out! Links in email, tweets, posts, and online advertising are often the way cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, it’s best to delete it. You may also wish to update your junk mail settings, to make sure such emails do not arrive in your inbox in future.

If an email appears to be from your bank (for example) and is stating that action is required from you (typical of phishing emails) and you are concerned that it may be genuine, open your web browser and navigate to your bank’s website – do not click on links in the email as it could send you to what is known as a ‘copycat’ website.

4. Check your privacy settings
It is a good idea to review your privacy settings on social media websites you use to ensure that you are only sharing information with people you know and trust. Also go back and delete anything you may have ‘overshared’ in the past.
Remember, what you post online is available for the whole world to see, so think to yourself is it a good idea to publish before you click!

Do not post sensitive information such as your address, telephone number, date of birth or email address online, or details about your children or loved ones.  
Once you have published photos they can be downloaded by others, so may be impossible to delete entirely, so take care with which images of yourself you post online.

5. Filter your search results
It is advisable to filter the results you receive from your search engine, especially if your children also use the computer. This can be done via the ‘advanced search settings’ or similarly named link on search engines.

This will prevent you and them from being presented with potentially harmful or upsetting material. If you come across content during a search that you consider illegal such as child abuse images or obscene adult material, then you should report it to the Internet Watch Foundation immediately.