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Internet and Online Safety Tips For Work and Home Life

 

In today's modern world of personal and professional data breaches and identity theft I wanted to write a best practices while surfing the internet. See some of the great tips below to assist in keeping you safe at work or at home.

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What is safe browsing?

Many people use the Internet on a daily basis without trouble, but it can harbor some hidden dangers to you and your computer. These risks can include exposure of sensitive personal information and infection by malware, which includes viruses, spyware, and adware. Safe browsing means being aware of these online threats and taking the necessary steps to avoid them.

It only takes a little bit of effort, a few tools, and some basic information to be safe as you browse the Internet. Follow these guidelines to protect your personal information and your computer online.

Install protective software

  • Panda Endpoint Protection is comprehensive security software that includes additional protection against spyware. This solution like any antivirus/malware solution does not fully protect you. Part of protecting yourself is making good decisions while on the internet.
  • WebRoot Secure Anywhere line of products is another great fit for protection against malware, viruses, phishing attacks.
  • Stay away from the freebies as they are not using the most relevant protection engines

Guard personal information

  • Look for signs of an encrypted Web pages when providing sensitive personal information (credit card or banking information, SSNs, etc.) online; key identifiers include a URL for the Web site's login page that begins with "https" and a padlock icon in your browser status bar (the location of this icon will vary based on browser)
  • this icon means there is some content on the page that is not secure but the web address be leary of these sites especially if the site is asking for credit card information or other sensitive data.
  • If you see this icon navigate away from the site as this is usually a phishing site trying to steal your information, username passwords, credit card info etc. On rare occasions you will run into this on a legitimate site if the site owner has not renewed their SSL certificate but better to close or navigate away from the site (safe than sorry).

Be wary of Internet downloads

  • Streaming media Web sites might seem harmless, but watching or listening to streaming media may mean downloading a special media player that could contain malware
  • Downloaded files like software or other media can hide malware on your computer without your knowledge
  • If a download seems too good to be true, it probably is—don't risk it!
  • Software that is freeware contain hidden additional installers that install malware on your system. Several examples would be if you install Java, CutePDF be careful what you are pressing next or accept on as this will install malware on your system.

Roaming users say no to public WiFi

In a recent survey, 70% of tablet owners and 53% of smartphone / mobile phone owners stated that they use public Wi-Fi hotspots. However, because data sent through public Wi-Fi can easily be intercepted, many mobile device and laptop users are risking the security of their personal information, digital identity, and money. Furthermore, if their device or computer is not protected by an effective security and anti-malware product… the risks are even greater. If you must use public WiFi please follow the tips listed below.

Wireless Security tips – keeping you safe on public Wi-Fi

With coffee shops, hotels, shopping malls, airports, and many other locations offering their customers free access to public Wi-Fi, it’s a convenient way to check your emails, catch up on social networking, or surf the web when you’re out and about. However, cyber criminals will often spy on public Wi-Fi networks and intercept data that is transferred across the link. In this way, the criminal can access users’ banking credentials, account passwords, and other valuable information.

  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Public Wi-Fi is inherently insecure – so be cautious.
  • Remember – any device could be at risk
    • Laptops, smartphones, and tablets are all susceptible to the wireless security risks.
  • Treat all Wi-Fi links with suspicion
    • Don’t just assume that the Wi-Fi link is legitimate. It could be a bogus link that has been set up by a cybercriminal that’s trying to capture valuable, personal information from unsuspecting users. Question everything – and don’t connect to an unknown or unrecognized wireless access point.
  • Try to verify it’s a legitimate wireless connection
    • Some bogus links – that have been set up by malicious users – will have a connection name that’s deliberately similar to the coffee shop, hotel, or venue that’s offering free Wi-Fi. If you can speak with an employee at the location that’s providing the public Wi-Fi connection, ask for information about their legitimate Wi-Fi access point – such as the connection’s name and IP address.
  • Use a VPN (virtual private network)
    • By using a VPN when you connect to a public Wi-Fi network, you’ll effectively be using a ‘private tunnel’ that encrypts all of your data that passes through the network. This can help to prevent cybercriminals – that are lurking on the network – from intercepting your data.
  • Avoid using specific types of website
    • It’s a good idea to avoid logging into websites where there’s a chance that cybercriminals could capture your identity, passwords, or personal information – such as social networking sites, online banking services, or any websites that store your credit card information.
  • WiFi HotSpot instead of public WiFi
    • If you need to access any websites that store or require the input of any sensitive information  including social networking, online shopping, and online banking sites – it may be worthwhile accessing them via your cell phone network, instead of the public Wi-Fi connection. Instructions for both iPhone and Android are below. Remember using the Wifi Hotspot will use your data on your smartphone plan, so use with caution.
    • iPhone HotSpot
    • Android HotSpot instructions vary by make/model

Plug the phone into a power source. ...

Open the Settings app. ...

Touch the More item in the Wireless & Networks section, and then choose Tethering & Portable Hotspot.


Passwords alone do not work alone any longer

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With more and more services going online or in the “Cloud” It is time for individuals and companies alike step up your security by implementing a fast growing technology 2FA (2 form factor authentication) Sounds scary right? Really not a big deal let's explain in layman's terms basically today when you go to a website you have to login with a username and password. If you are like a lot of folks you will use the same password for all of your web properties such as facebook, linkedin, twitter and google. The problem with such strategy is that once a hacker obtains your password the hacker can then login to all of your web properties with one fail swoop. If you want to use the same username and password for all of your web properties then you could go a step further to secure yourself by turning on 2FA. Once you have activated 2FA you will then enter a username, password and a unique code that will be texted to your smartphone or cellphone. This code is only valid for a period of time before the code expires. The advantage here is that you are the one that has the device and a hacker would need access to your physical device to get into your accounts.

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