Tips for Internet Safety Month (and the Other 11 Months Too)

Be Safe When Online

June has been designated as Internet Safety Month. While I believe it’s important to bring the topic of Internet safety to the forefront for discussion, I also believe it’s important to practice safe online surfing every day all year long.

I have assembled my ten favorite tips to celebrate this year’s Internet Safety Month, so be safe online!

TIP 1: Use different complex passwords for all websites, and at a minimum, use different passwords for financial sites (for example, bank websites) vs. social media sites (be sure to use passwords of no less than 10 characters in length with upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols if possible).

TIP 2: Use a password strength checker to see how strong your password is – here’s one from Microsoft: https://www.microsoft.com/security/pc-security/password-checker.aspx.

TIP 3: Before you click on any abbreviated or shortened link, use an “X-Ray” site to see the entire URL (http://urlxray.com or http://checkshorturl.com).

TIP 4: Whenever you use any E-Commerce sites, make sure that the URL is “HTTPS” and has a lock icon included in the browser along the bottom right or within the address bar – if possible, use a one-time only password.

TIP 5: Do not allow E-Commerce sites to store your credit card numbers.

TIP 6: Before closing your browser, be sure to always clear your cache and cookies – and do not allow your browser to automatically store your passwords – the settings to make these automatic are located in your Tools/Options settings.

TIP 7: In the growing mobile environment, read privacy policies and terms of use before downloading any Apps.

TIP 8: You should only open emails from people you know. If you don’t recognize the sender, don’t open the email. Also, do not click on any links in emails unless you have verified that the sender wants you to visit the links. The email could appear legitimate, but it is a form of malware called phishing.

TIP 9: Set your anti-virus software to automatically update so that your device (desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet) always has the latest signatures. Always be sure to update your device with the latest patches and system updates. These are critical because they fix vulnerabilities that software developers find – not doing so will leave your device open to attacks.

TIP 10: Install a website tracker to block companies trying to track your online behavior and movements (one good example is Ghostery.com).

What tips would you add to this list?

IBM

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.

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About Allan Pratt

Technology and cybersecurity professional with focus on tech news, cybersecurity, networking, infrastructure, data protection, consumer electronics, and social media.
This entry was posted in Mobile Computing, Online Privacy, Online Security, Social Media. Bookmark the permalink.

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