Staying safe online is now a big part of our everyday lives. It’s crucial to review your family’s digital habits and make smart decisions to help protect personal information from fraudsters and identity thieves.
Start with these simple ways to boost your online security:
Teach your children
Just like teaching them to look both ways before crossing the street, make sure your children know to never give out identifying information online and to tell you if someone is being a cyberbully.
Don’t open unsolicited emails and only download software you trust. If a link in an email seems suspicious, don’t click on it. When visiting new websites, be wary of spelling mistakes and a lack of contact information. Use a trusted search engine to ensure you choose vetted websites.
Keep up to date
Install the latest updates for your operating system. Enable automatic downloads of your antivirus software and use the most current version of your web browser. If you’re not very tech savvy, any local computer services shop can help get your system set up.
Use stronger passwords
Each of your passwords should be unique and include elements such as symbols, numbers and uppercase and lowercase letters. Change your passwords every few months. If you have trouble keeping track of your passwords, try using a password manager such as the iCloud Keychain.
Check for the “s”
When you visit a website, look for the lock icon or the “https” at the beginning of the URL. This means you have a secure connection, and information such as passwords and credit card numbers are kept private when sent to the site.
Be cautious about sharing
If you log on to public Wi-Fi at the coffee shop or airport, for example, check with staff about the name of the network first to ensure you connect with a legitimate network. Don’t perform sensitive tasks when using an open network; do your online shopping at home.