Our digital life is only growing, which of course makes us more vulnerable to the wrong people who also want to join us. While our smartphones, computers, smartwatches and other devices make it easier for us to connect with our friends and family – so crucial, especially today – we need to make sure they are locked and we are savvy enough to solve problems. be it hackers, phishing attacks or malware.
So here are 12 steps you can take to protect your digital life, almost all without spending a dime. But everyone can help you lock down and make your data and personal information even harder to access, and can also make you feel more secure when you are online.
Take advantage of the security features offered by your cable company or Internet service providerGetty Images
1. Use a good Wi-Fi system and a good router or take advantage of the services offered by your Internet service provider, whether by cable or broadband. Both can help you lock down malware, including different types of attacks that can threaten not only a product you use at home, but even those you use while you are away. And also change the default password that comes with the device when you launch it for the first time. Hackers rely on people who don’t – and then they know ABC123 can unlock thousands (or millions) of smart gadgets, then give them access to even more details about your life.
2. Don’t click on strange links. You receive an email from what looks like your friend’s email address with a subject link that said, “Click this!” You open the email and click, and all of a sudden you’re prompted to download a file. Or an email comes in from your bank, with a greeting that doesn’t spell your name, and the URL isn’t a “.com”, but another ending that sounds disappointing.
These are probably phishing emails, and what they do is trick you – yes, like a worm on a hook – into clicking a link, and even potentially entering personal information. If the email claims to be your bank, it can be your account number and password. If a financial institution, like your bank, credit card company, financial advisor, or even your human resources company or the IRS, has a problem, they’re less likely to send an email asking you to check it out. details and is more likely to appeal. If you receive an email asking you to sign in to an account and something about that email sounds a bit weird, pick up the phone, call the number you know for that business, or search for it online. . Do. Not. Click on.
Think of public Wi-Fi as a playground with no safety or security features availableGetty Images
3. Please (please) do not use public Wi-Fi at Starbucks, the airport, or anywhere it is offered. Of course, there’s a good chance you won’t be targeted. But public Wi-Fi is a sump that anyone can access. Link your smart devices to your network’s cellular coverage, and while you may have to pay for some data, it’s a lot (a lot) less of a pain than paying to have your accounts changed when they have to. been hacked.
4. Don’t share your password with your Wi-Fi when people are visiting, but set up your own guest system.
5. Update simple passwords. Please don’t use your dog’s name as the password, not your birthday – we’re serious. All a hacker needs to do is a little phishing to figure these things out, and voila, they’re in your accounts. Make the password longer than 12 characters and even consider using symbols. And don’t forget to change your password – often. We like to stress this often, but it’s one of the best things you can do. Having trouble remembering all those passwords and updates? See the following suggestions below.
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6. Consider protecting online assets in the future. No one really wants to think about what can happen when they are gone, but taking the time to protect your assets now can help others when that time comes. Yes, a good password manager can help, especially for those who need access to your crucial accounts, but also consider creating a legacy name on your social media sites for companies like Facebook to allow users to others to make decisions on how to close your account respectfully.
7. Use a free password service like Google’s, similar to its original password checker, to see if your password has been compromised. Or use another password manager. These services are able to lock your passwords behind another layer of security, and some of them are even free.
Password managers are great ways to further protect your codes
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8. Check the privacy settings. By regularly reviewing the privacy settings of the sites you use, especially social networks, you can prevent some very personal details from being visible. This trick can help you become less vulnerable to phishing (see # 2).
9. Regularly update all software and operating systems. Even better? Set them to automatic, so that when updates arrive, they’re added to your system without you needing to go to a website, download, and install. You can usually do this for some of the bigger products you use, whether it’s Apple iOS and OS or even Android. Browsers, like Chrome, also send a big red alert – literally on the screen – with a red “Update” button at the top right. Click on it, then follow the instructions and in a minute you will be done.
10. Consider adding two-factor authentication to any device from online connections or from your smartphone. This step sends a second keycode via email or text message that you must add before you can access an account. Or just start using a security key. These devices are no longer just for business, but are simple to install, affordable to purchase, and provide an extra layer of instant security for your devices and apps, even password apps like LastPass.
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11. Prevent people from contacting you. There are ways to filter the words, whether it’s in your email account or on social media. You can block accounts, people, or phrases that may be related to spam. This way, you can actually prevent certain issues from getting to you in the first place. You can also use the same method to block texts and calls – as well as instant messages.
12. Disable any features you may not want to need. Maybe you want to prevent Alexa from listening to her wake-up call while you’re at home. Just because your device has a free security camera feature or a built-in microphone doesn’t mean you need or want it.
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