5 Things to Do Before 8AM to Protect Yourself Online
- By Ginger Hill
- Nov 08, 2013
After grabbing that first cup of coffee, what is the first thing that most people do? Go straight for their device! As soon as you “step foot” out into cyber land, you become vulnerable to hackers, con people and all the bad things that make up the Internet.
Here are 5 things you can do in 5 minutes (or less) to protect yourself online while you sip your cup-o-joe!
1. Make sure your anti-virus software is up-to-date. Check to see if there are security patches and software updates, and install them immediately. Also, be sure to always use the latest version of your web browser of choice.
2. Google yourself. Yep, that’s right. Type your name into the Google search bar and hit the “enter” button. Be aware of the information that is available online about you because hackers can perform a simple search, manipulate your information and use it to their benefit.
3. Clear your cache. Every time you visit a website, web browsers save tiny files on your computer that make the website load faster the next time you visit it. Sounds like a good thing, right? Not necessarily! People (or hackers) who may use your computer after you can browse your history to see what websites you visited and could gain access to your login IDs, passwords, and other sensitive information.
4. Make sure your webcam is disabled or at least covered. “Camfecting” has become very popular over the past several months as hackers are breaking into computers, activating webcams and spying on people. Creepy, huh?
The simplest and most secure way to protect yourself from camfecting is to put a piece of tape, Post-it note or a Band-Aid over your webcam. There are also free software solutions that allow users to temporarily disable/enable their webcams, which would be my choice for the highest security.
5. Update your passwords. We are bombarded with having to create passwords. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least 15 passwords that I have to remember on a daily basis. It would be so simple to just have the exact same password for each and every account, but this makes it too easy for hackers to access your confidential information.
Take the time to change and update at least 1 password each and every morning. Make sure each is unique, and comprised of letters, numbers and special characters. This semi-constant changing of passwords will keep them fresh, making it difficult for hackers to steal your password.
Ginger Hill is Group Social Media Manager.