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5 golden rules for staying safe online

Updated on July 13, 2016

If you have been reading my posts you will notice that a number of points keep popping up. The reason for this is of course that these particular points are vital to keeping yourself safe online. For the few out there who want to do the minimum in order to stay safe I am laying out 5 golden rules to follow.

1) Keep your software updated

Updating software, whether it be on your phone, laptop, or television, is extremely important. When hackers discover new ways to steal your data, gadget and software companies usually work quickly to release fixes for those vulnerabilities. Once a fix is in place an update becomes available and you should download this update, I try to set as many applications as possible to do automatic updates or in the case of my phone I set it running at night time when its not been used.

2) STOP using the same password everywhere
You are living in an age of big hacks and data breaches if you use the same password everywhere once your details are stolen once all your accounts are compromised. And you can be guaranteed that there is a high possibility your details have already been stolen from somewhere.
3) Don't fall for phishing scams
These scams are getting more and more frequent and the attacks been used are becoming more professional. I recently received an email claiming to be a free password security tester, the email asked me to enter my password to test how strong it is and of course I deleted it as its purpose was of course to steal my password. Be smart when you receive phone calls and emails that you are not expecting and never open an application you receive in an email with the file extension .exe.
4) Add recovery contact information to your accounts
This is important you should always have two different contact methods on your accounts. The reason for this is if you forget your password and lose your phone well then your snookered and you may be locked out of that account forever, leaving your information hanging in cyber space. The second reason for this is If your account is compromised, companies will probably try to let you know. But that’s only possible if they have some means of getting in touch with you on file.
5) Enable two factor authentication
Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring another code in addition to your memorized password. That code can be sent to your smartphone via a text or generated by an app. With two-factor authentication, even if a hacker has your username and password, he or she won’t be able to access your account unless they also have your smartphone — not a likely scenario. I ask if you don't do any of the above at least do this one and give yourself some chance of staying protected.

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