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Cyber Strategies Blog

International Safer Internet Day 9th February

Together we can learn how to safely navigate the Internet


Whether you use the internet for work, play or to socialise, take time this month to think about ways you can use technology safely.


5 tips to safer Internet Browsing


Think about ways that you use the internet and the devices to access it. Protect yourself while browsing by thinking ahead.


1. Update your computer and mobile device software


Install the latest antivirus and anti-malware updates on your computer and mobile devices. Many times, we update our desktops with the latest patches but forget about updating our mobile devices.


Mobile device users are easy targets for even the most primitive malware, so be sure to update those mobile OS updates. This is one way to keep your devices safe from hackers while using the internet to shop or work.


2. Shopping and contests


A website can be trusted if the website address starts with “HTTPS”. The “S” means that the website is using HTTP Secure, an extension of HTTP. An icon of a locked padlock will usually appear to the left of the URL.


Never send money to a merchant via an app like Cash App or Venmo. Use a payment service that protects the buyer from fraudulent activity: for example, PayPal, where you can file a claim if the vendor does not send you the merchandise that you paid for or your account is compromised.


3. Pop-up ads and malicious links


Unexpected pop-ups can be more than just annoying. These ads are notorious for containing a type of malware called “adware,” If you ever get a pop-up that says you won anything free, don’t click on it! I guarantee that that click will cost you plenty!


The same goes for email links. Never click on an email or text link that you weren’t expecting, or that looks suspicious.


If you click before you think, you could inadvertently download ransomware, spyware or malware, infecting your computers and compromising your data.



4. Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication


A strong password is one of the first lines of defence against hackers. Consider using a passphrase, rather than a simple password. The passphrase should be long, at least 15 characters, and contain multiple unrelated words and characters. And remember to never share your password with anyone!


Consider using a password manager, like LastPass, to create very strong and unique passwords for each of your online websites. Passwords managers are convenient because you only have to remember one password to access your account.


Many websites offer an option to verify your identity if someone logs into your account from an unrecognized device. Usually, the site will send you an email or text with a unique code to validate your identity. This gives you an extra layer of protection when accessing important account information.



5. Be sure to use a trusted Wi-Fi network and VPN


When browsing the internet on a public or shared Wi-Fi network, be sure to use a legitimate, trusted network that is password-protected.


It’s also a good idea to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) whenever you connect to a public or shared Wi-Fi.


Avoid doing anything that involves sensitive data on a public Wi-Fi network like bill paying, using your credit card or accessing your bank account. Save those transactions for when you’re connected to a secure home network.


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