Internet safety is often overlooked, you need to protect yourself and your information in this online world that we live in.
The internet is a wonderful thing – it puts a ton of information at our fingertips and allows us to come into contact with people from all over the world. We’re no longer limited to contact with just people in our own little (or big) communities. But the internet can also be a dangerous place if we aren’t careful.
In the mobile world we live on our phones, tablets and computers. We use these devices to:
- access banking information
- login to our PayPal or Square accounts
- do research
- subscribe to newsletters
- download patterns
- and we use these same devices for our social media accounts.
Think about the information you’re entering all over the internet
Everywhere we go on the internet we’re being tracked – have you ever really stopped and thought about that? Here’s just a few examples.
- With Chrome and Firefox we setup a user account. So our browser is tracking where we go and what we do.
- Google has us create an account. We use that account to login to other websites, get our email via gmail, upload documents into Google Drive, and search for information via Google.
- Many sites require that you set up an account with a username and password in order to access information
- Other websites simply require that you enter your name and email address
- Your bank requires you to set up a user name & password in order to access your banking information online
- PayPal & Square require you to set up accounts
- All of the Social Media platforms require that we create user accounts
Everywhere we go, someone is requiring us to provide them with information about ourselves so we can access the information we want to obtain from their websites.
How to stay safe on the internet
Here are some basic internet safety tips to protect yourself and your information. Some will cost you money, but your safety is worth it – isn’t it?
- AntiVirus. Purchase AntiVirus software for your computer, phone, and tablet. Add the AntiVirus plugins to your browser.
- Do NOT reuse passwords. Don’t use the same password for your banking login as you do for Facebook. Every website that you login to should have it’s own unique password. (More info below).
- Each device should have a login password. Your computer, phone, tablet, etc. should each have a login account and/or password. Without a password, if your device is lost or stolen the thief has access to ALL of your information!
- Don’t write your passwords down on paper or keep them in any sort of document named “Passwords or Login Info”.
- Letting your browser save your passwords is a no-no. I’ve seen browser updates corrupt the password file and then where would you be?
- Use the “Incognito” window (available in Chrome & Firefox browsers) when logging into your bank and PayPal accounts.
How to manage an endless list of user names & passwords
Ok, so you’re probably thinking “how the heck am I supposed to manage all my user names & passwords?”
As the saying goes “there’s an app for that” – it’s called a password manager.
A password manager keeps track of all the different user names and passwords for each site that you log into (Facebook, Instagram, your WordPress site, your bank). If you create an account on a new website, the password manager will automatically create and remember that information for you – and it will create a strong password for you.
A good password manager will allow you to import your existing passwords and then evaluate them – letting you know where you have reused the same user name and password combination so that you can go change that information.
I use a password manager called Dashlane and have for the last 5 or so years. Not only do I have it installed on my computer in the office (of my software biz) but also on my laptop, my phone and my iPad. If I add a new account on one device the information is saved and shared between all my devices.
Dashlane will even alert me if there has been a security breach on one of the websites that I use so I can change my password.
PC World magazine did a review of of 10 different password managers, you can read the article here.
If you are interested in Dashlane – click here to receive $20.00 discount when you purchase the Premium package.
How are you staying safe on the internet?
Until next week – Happy Creativity