April 3rd 2020

21 SMART TIPS TO STAY SAFE ONLINE

We are all spending more time online due to the lockdown. For that reason, we have created a series of tips on how to stay safe online. Just because you are at home doesn't mean you are safe; be vigilant and aware online. If you're worried that your details might have been compromised, contact us for a free audit of the dark web to find your stolen passwords. 

#1 Click carefully

You could be clicking on hidden malware! Only click on a link in an email or online if it's from a trusted source.

#2 Use strong passwords

A strong password consists of at least 10 characters and includes a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Try to avoid using personal information that others may be able to guess, or anything such as 'password'.

#3 No lock, don’t shop!

If the website doesn’t have a padlock in the URL bar, this is a sign that the website is not secure and therefore your details could be compromised. Always treat this as a reason to not input any details as it may be unsafe to do so.

#4 Don’t use a hot spot

Potential hackers could be hanging out in the same network bubble, so avoid using hotspots especially from untrusted sources.

#5 Look out for the latest scams

Research to be aware of what you need to be looking out for. During the recent pandemic, scammers have been sending texts pretending to be the UK Government.

#6 Use a firewall

A firewall is a barrier intended to protect you from data-based malware dangers that exist on the internet. Whether you're working from home or in the office, a firewall is a secure tool for protecting you from dangers online. 

#7 Boost your network security

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) gives you online privacy and anonymity. 

#8 Keep your guard up

If something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably because it isn’t! Always be wary and look out for things like unsecure websites, spelling mistakes and broken links - these are signs of spam. 

#9 Trusted sources

Only get updates on COVID-19 from vetted communication sources. There's a lot of fake news online at the moment, don't get caught up in sharing it.

#10 Two-step authentication

Keep your data and systems secure by setting up two-step authentication on your accounts. You can do this by receiving a code via text or an app to access your accounts securely. 

#11 Only install apps from trusted sources

For Apple this is the App Store and for Android it’s the Google Store. Tread carefully if your device is warning you about downloading a new application.

#12 Scan files before opening

Even from known email addresses! Emails can be compromised by cyber criminals after they've been sent, so it's always best to scan files first. 

#13 Keep your applications up to date

This means both your computer and your phone; software updates include repairing security holes that have been discovered and fixing or removing bugs. If you only update one source, this still leaves the other vulnerable.

#14 Don’t share personal information

Remind yourself that nobody will request sensitive personal information via email. You should also be wary about what you share about yourself on social media, as this opens yourself up to identity theft. 

#15 Be careful what you download

Don’t download films or similar content online, a top goal of cybercriminals is to trick you into downloading malware.

# 16 Practice safe browsing

You wouldn't choose to walk through a dangerous neighbourhood—don't visit dangerous neighbourhoods online.

#17 Keep your privacy settings on

Hackers love to know all about you. Make sure you have enabled these privacy safeguards and keep them enabled.

#18 Be careful who you meet online

People you meet online are not always who they claim to be. There are lots of ways that people try to trick you into trusting them online. Keep to the same precautions as you would usually.

#19 Stop and think

Don’t upload or share any content you wouldn’t want your employer, friends or family to see. Once you post something, you lose control of it!

#20 Know how to report posts

Be socially responsible, if you see something on social media which you don’t agree with you have the opportunity of reporting it.

#21 Be careful of social 'games' that ask you to spill personal details

Especially during the pandemic, there are a lot of social media games doing the games asking people to spill information about themselves. This could include favourite films, where you got married, your birthplace and more - all popular details that are used as passwords! 

We hope that gives you some recommendations and some key strategies to implement such as solutions and daily habits for when you are engaging with content online.

At Lily, we have a range of cyber security solutions, find out more by clicking here.

Stay safe and stay connected!

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