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Freedom: Four things you can do today to protect your computer

4 things to do today to keep your PC, Laptop, Phone safe. Online Safety
4 things to do today to keep your PC, Laptop, and Phone safe. Online Safety.

We forget the vast amounts of personal and personal data we share with our devices daily. Daily, we write sensitive work emails or plan our next holiday. Maybe book some Doctors' appointments.

Luckily, it is pretty easy to improve your device security. Read on for four simple things you can do today to protect your info and devices.

Scrub your email

You've probably had to email someone a copy of your passport or your ID. If not, you get a couple of bills in your inbox every month. Unless you delete them, those emails are stored deep in your inbox. All someone has to do is hack your account to gain access to your bank details, card details and, of course, your passport.

Deep cleaning your email inbox once a year:

  • Archive all the emails you want to keep.
  • Download it to your computer (where you can save the file to an external hard drive).
  • Finally: delete your entire inbox to start fresh.
  • Bonus points for spot cleaning throughout the year. You can do this by searching for information that’s sitting in your inbox and deleting it periodically: bank details or your health insurance info, for example. 

Ditch old passwords

We have a love/hate relationship with passwords. They’re our first line of protection against hackers, but it’s hard to remember them. It usually goes something like this: 

  1. You need to login to an account, 
  2. You forget your password, 
  3. You hit ‘forgot password’, 
  4. Then make a new password only for the screen to hit you with ‘new password cannot be the same as old password’.

So here is a thought - Avoid this by using a password manager like one of our supported password managers. A digital vault that stores all your passwords and generates new complicated ones that can not be hacked easily. Once you have the password manager, update all of your accounts (i.e. music services, ride-sharing apps, airline accounts, etc.) 

Strong passwords should be:

  • Long: passwords should be a minimum of eight characters. Better would be 16-20 characters.
  • Best Practice: Each password you use – for every site – should be different
  • Random: your password shouldn’t follow a logical pattern or be easy to guess. This is why a password manager is vital.
cybersecurity breaching or hacking is a crime, report to the police
Cybersecurity breaching or hacking is a crime. Report to the police.

Update your software

Now that your accounts are secured with strong, unique passwords. Now update your software across the board. Boring but a great idea and thoroughly recommended by everyone in IT, not just cybersecurity guys

Operating System

Browser

Updates always have the latest security fixes for malicious attacks by viruses and malware. Pro tip: avoid more pop-ups and keep your software fresh by 'switching on' automatic updates.

Upgrade your browser

Very easy to do, it will save you from life-sucking third-party trackers, which stop advertisers from selling your most personal information. Protecting your personal information, while loving your devices, does not have to be so hard. 

Articles of Interest

Articles, links and connections from the BeSecureOnline site you might find interesting.    

What is a VPN - VPN Explained

Ransomware - To pay or not to pay - Ransomware

Cybersecurity Essentials for Business

Five things to use VPN for - VPN 5 things

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