Cyber Safe in Cyber Space: Making Sure You’re Safe in an Online World

The Internet is a world in of itself, deeply connected to almost every facet of life. Whether it’s for education, communication, business or even simple entertainment, almost everyone has some degree of online presence. While the internet can be helpful and a great resource, however, it also has its’ own set of dangers. If you have any regular accounts or important information on the internet, be sure to use these guidelines to keep you and your family safe.

Back It Up

A lot of businesses now use electronic documents, data and files to store information. This allows for easy access to them instead of using paper copies. However, there is a potential risk in this format. If an issue arises, such as the computer your information is stored on is corrupted or the online account that holds the data you need can’t be logged into, you can potentially lose valuable business documents. This can also cost you time and money when you have to rebuild what you’ve lost.

If you have an electronic file you can’t afford to lose, back it up. Having a second version available in case the first one is lost gives you a safety net. Make sure the backup isn’t stored in the same place too.  Store it in another location you can retrieve it at so it can’t be lost with the original.

Use Inconspicuous Passwords

Passwords are almost always used for any online account or personal computer log in. This is your most obvious line of defense against hackers, thieves and criminals who want to target you. However, passwords are not foolproof. Cyber criminals are persistent and have ways of figuring passwords out.

When creating a password, use one that can’t easily be traced to you. Don’t use your own personal information, such as your middle name or your spouse’s birthday. Use a combination of letters and numbers that are either random or are a phrase no one would immediately think of. Be sure not to store your passwords on your computer either – write them down somewhere if you need to and don’t keep it by the computer. Finally, don’t use the same password for everything. If a hacker figures out that one password, they can now access everything.

Keep Your Security Updated

Anti-Virus programs are a good investment.  Firewalls keep malicious technology such as malware and spambots out of your computer.  It can cost a lot of time and money to repair an infected machine. Always be proactive in not letting them set up camp in your computer in the first place.

Additionally, conduct anti-virus scans regularly.  Don’t wait until something seems wrong.  If caught in the early stages, a virus can be cleared out more easily.

Always Use Common Sense

Finally, and most importantly, use your sense of judgement.  Don’t open emails that seem suspicious or use any kind of website you don’t feel comfortable with.  If something seems sketchy, don’t risk it.  Viruses can infect your computer through these means, even if you don’t input any information.  Just like how we’re taught to not answer any suspicious phone calls or texts, the internet should not be explored recklessly – always stay on the side of caution.