Protecting ourselves is of the utmost importance with all the cyber activity that increases in sophistication each month. It is no surprise that fraudulent activities are becoming more successful when the top two PC passwords are ‘password’ and ‘123456’! In our internet connected world where we buy, sell, bank, keep connected and do much more on line keeping safe now requires more than a single, easy and repetitive password on your PC that is repeated on every other device you own.
Typically homes now have six or more internet connected devices and they all need to safeguard our privacy, therefore we must to look at a total household solution. This needs to include your PC, yourself, smartphones, smart TVs, subscription TV such as Netflix and tablets, shopping and banking payments and safeguarding children and social networking.
We know that cyber criminals can use our emails to access personal information such as bank details, addresses, date of birth and etc. – all essential to steal from or clone you. Start with a strong email password but also use different passwords for bank accounts etc. If you have children that use the same equipment make sure that in addition to setting them up with their own unique password protection you also restrict their purchases to age related material. Now is also the time to apply a limit to their purchasing power and consider cancelling in-app purchasing abilities.
Here are some simple ways to improve your protection:
- Never use the following personal details in your password:
- Current partner’s name
- Child’s name
- Other family members’ name
- Pet’s name
- Place of birth
- Favourite holiday or sports team
- Some of the best passwords use numbers and three unrelated words with unexpected capitalisation. For example: 12LazYgreeNGiraffes37
- Use anti-virus software – there’s lots to choose from – and make sure it is updated when upgrades become available.
- Where available, activate the software’s auto-update feature to maximise your protection.
- Don’t open emails from unknown senders.
- Be cautious about emails that contain unexpected attachments – check with the sender first.
- When making payments always check for the green padlock sign against the web address you are communicating with. If it is showing it will be safe.
- Apply child protection filters where desired.
Often new tablets and mobiles are purchased as presents for Christmas. Make the opening of the present an even greater success by following this short list:
- Unwrap it carefully, charge it and connect it to your wifi so when opened it is ready for use!
- Apply the users passwords and security protection and make a note of them.
- Make a note of the device’s model number, serial number and IMEI number. In the event of it being stolen the device can then be completely disabled.
There is a very good web site that is full of valuable advice, so do visit it for even more great tips: www.getsafeonline.org
Follow the advice and keep to the rules you establish and you can use the internet with confidence.
Bob Elliott is the Commercial Director at UKTelecom. He’s an expert in telephone networks and broadband and knows how to get the best from any service.
Tel: France (free): 0805 631632 – UK: +44 (0) 1483 477100