My personal tips for online safety or how to protect yourself from the big bad W..orld
Always start with why if you want to stick with something. So`Why?.` For me, online safety is important because I know many frightful stories about stollen personalities, empty bank accounts, and taken loans. After all, the world is full of bad people, let’s make their job to screw us harder.
‘Must have’ tips
1. Use a password manager
2. Use strong passwords
3. Never enter a password while you are connected to a public WiFi
4. Never connect to a public WiFi
5. Do not use your credit card for online payments.
6. Always store important information in the cloud or have a backup disk.
7. Do not open strange attachments and links
More on these below:
Use a password manager
Having a strong password is really, really, really important. Hackers nowadays are able to brute-force any weak password with a wink. 😉
So what is a password manager?
- It is a program that stores your passwords encrypted, that means safe.
- You need only one password to log in in your password manager, from there it generates a password whenever you need one and fills your passwords in the web forms. This way you have strong passwords that are different for every account and even you don’t know them. Sounds secure, right?
- No more hard time signing up, passwords are generated and filled for you.
Here is a great article about which one to use:
Use strong passwords
Using a password like 1234, qwerty or even your name is like you are shouting your password to everyone. “Excuse me, do you need my facebook password? Here it is ..”
How to create strong passwords?
1. Came up with a mind-blowing sentence like: “Mike has a lot of hair on his back”.
2. Take the first letters from each word: “Mhalohohb”. Now add some numbers and signs like “!#”.
Great job and password!
3. If you feel lazy just use Mike’s hair problem for a password. It will stick in your mind and it is relatively safe.
Pro tips for creating a password
- If you know a foreign language — use words from it written incorrectly in Latin like: “Asta lavista” /”hasta la vista”/. Hackers use dictionaries to hack passwords so DON`T EVER USE A EXISTING WORD IN A PASSWORD.
Wait, above you said…I know that I’ve just said- “Use Mike’s hair for a password”, but passwords with existing words in a long sentence are a way better than 1234 passwords. Use long senteces or words from your private dictionary.
- You can mix letters and numbers and remember that easily if the number starts with a letter that you want to replace like “P1rfabor” — This is a mix from “por favor” written incorrectly and “1” is used instead of “o”.
Never enter a password while you are connected to a public WiFi
Hackers love public WiFis. They can see in clear text what are you entering, believe me they see it white on black.
Never connect to a public WiFi
You don’t know when you are sending information to a server, sometimes applications do it on their own, so to be sure you don’t send names, phones, and passwords, just don’t use open wifi.
Do not use your credit card for online payments.
Use virtual visa or PayPal or…there are so many alternatives.
I use virtual visa issued from my bank. Before I am about ot make a purchase I enter the amount of money in my virtual visa, using the online banking system and I am pretty, pretty sure I won’t be taxed more than expected and I won’t be taxed more times than expected and…you get it.
Always use the cloud for important information or have a backup disk.
This way if hackers corrupt your computer, just reinstall it…Asta Lavista
Do not open email attachments and links
Last but not least, do not open email attachments and links before you are pretty certain from who these are and what they are. If a stranger rings on your door and gives you a package, would you accept it? If a friend gives you a package with a big giraffe in it, would you accept it? (small one would be acceptable :)
If you have done the previous steps. Congratulations! Your accounts, information, and money are safe now.
Further steps would be:
- Don’t use Windows. If you need to use it, buy the best antivirus program, you will need it.
- Do not download programs from untrusted places. But..you know this already, the hard way I guess.
- Turn your computer off if you don’t use it. If it is off, it cannot be hacked, right? The short way will be — close your browser and disconnect from the Internet.
- Close an opened Facebook page if you don’t use it. If you do so, there is no way Facebook to know that you need those sneakers.
- Always update your software, especially your phone’s OS
- Don’t install a program if you don’t need it. Installing a program is like eating something: know what you eat.
Great job! No more missing money, viruses, and stolen lives. Let’s go and drink a beer.