1. Prevent identity theft
Don’t give your house key to the burglar. There are so many untrusted sites, potentially malicious, that mislead you into believing them to be genuine and make you enter your personal financial and security information. Phishing has become more common on the Web. So, never enter your password on site by following a link in an email or chat message. Do so only when you know it’s from a trusted source.
2. Strengthen passwords
- Try to have longer passwords with combinations of numerals, letters and special characters;
- Have different passwords for different sites;
- It’s also better to not sync your login with multiple websites;
- Set up password recover options to reset your password;
- Always remember to log out when you are using a public computer; and
- Don’t share your passwords with anyone or leave them anywhere easily accessible.
3. Beware of phishing & malware sites
There are many unsafe and untrusted sites that have the possibility to compromise your data, spam your website or even hack your system. These unsafe websites are typically classified as either phishing or malware sites.
- Phishing sites have the pretense of being legitimate and will trick you into entering and sharing private information and login credentials.
- Malware sites are those that contain a malicious code or script to install hidden software onto your computer when you visit and access the site.
Cyber criminals use malware to capture and misuse your private information. So, you need to be equipped with the expertise to identify such sites if something seems fishy, and come out of them immediately.
4. Keep an eye out for website certificates
Have you noticed the closed padlock symbol on the address bar of your browser and the URL addresses that begins with HTTPS? These are indications that the website you are visiting is secured and has encryptions in place to secure your data integrity. Make sure to check if the website you are using for sensitive information sharing has a valid certificate from a trusted certificate authority.
5. Insecure file sharing: a vulnerability gateway
Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing has become a very common method of breaking into end-user computers. You may never know what malware or infectious code or script is coming along with your download, or shared file. Some P2P applications may ask you to open certain ports on your firewall to transmit the files, and by doing so you go one step further in letting your network and computer infrastructure be compromised.
Firewalls and antivirus software can help fight known viruses and infections and help keep your system guarded. But it’s better to be more wary about sharing files over untrusted websites, or use a secure file transfer server.
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