How do you ensure the security of your critical information on the internet? It can be challenging to know how to act when you’re so used to throwing caution to the wind when surfing online. On the one hand, you want to embrace the internet and all of its risks, but on the other hand, you want to protect yourself from fraudsters, scammers, and spammers who want to take advantage of people like you and me. In a webinar, Faisal Abidi and Raghib Khan, Co-Founders of RNF Technologies, shared some helpful ways to keep yourself secure on the internet.
Change your passwords regularly
Hackers have become so sophisticated that they can probably crack most passwords in seconds. So don’t make their job easy by using easily guessed passwords like your pet’s name or birthday. Instead, create a unique password for each account—even similar ones (such as two email accounts you use). To increase security, change passwords often—at least once every six months. Also: don’t share any of your passwords with anyone else; if you need to share an account with someone, create a unique passcode. It will allow them access without giving up control of your account.
Use different passwords for different accounts
Most of us share a small handful of passwords across multiple online accounts. Unfortunately, this is bad news: if you do end up getting hacked or having your account compromised by a spammer, you’re likely going to have big problems on your hands—and it might be hard to determine where exactly everything went wrong. So never reuse passwords for multiple accounts. Instead, opt for a password manager like LastPass (which even lets you generate super-secure passwords) and unique passwords for every account that requires one.
Don’t give out personal information
The easiest way fraudsters can scam you is by getting your personal information. That includes your credit card number, bank account info, or social security number. So don’t give out personal details in any emails you receive – especially if it involves money! If it seems too good to be true or if there are spelling errors in an email, chances are it’s a scammer trying to steal from you.
Avoid links you can’t verify
Never click on a link unless you can verify its legitimacy. Never share your personal or financial information with anyone until you are sure you know who it is. To avoid phishing scams that trick you into handing over your passwords or other sensitive information, ask companies if they will contact you via email instead of asking for it directly—and make sure it’s actually them sending these messages! A little common sense goes a long way to avoid fraudsters.
Two-factor authentication is a great way to keep yourself extra secure on your accounts. With 2FA enabled on your email, you’ll need your password and a unique code sent via text message to log in. That means if someone does get their hands on your password, they won’t be able to access your account—unless they also have access to your phone.
Report phishing emails
If you’re ever in doubt about an email or get an email that seems out of place, report it. By reporting spam emails, you help others from becoming victims of a phishing scam. To do so, look for a spam button at or near the top of your inbox and push it. This will forward any information found within that message directly to your network provider or provider of choice.
Keep your devices up-to-date
No matter how locked down your passwords are, you’re never completely safe on the web. Scammers often use your data against you by catching out unsuspecting people who aren’t keeping their devices up-to-date. To reduce your risk of online fraud, make sure you install software updates as soon as they’re available; these updates often include critical security patches that help protect against security breaches and malware.