Are you aware of your online safety? Are you the type to make all of your passwords the same, or to post the answers to your security questions on social media surveys?

It might be time for cyber security 101.

Protecting your online life doesn’t have to be hard. You just have to know the basics and the rest will come naturally.

Read on for 5 tips for protecting yourself online.


1. Make Your Password Harder to Guess

How many of you have a password that’s the name of a parent or pet, or a birthday? What about your own first, last, or middle name? Is your password the same for every site that you sign up for?

A few of you are likely feeling targeted right now, and that’s okay.

Your password should be a healthy balance of “easy to recall, difficult to guess”. You can do nonsense combinations of numbers and words that still make sense to you for easy recall, or you can follow best practices tips for passwords that are hard to crack.

Tip: password generators seem great, but they’re not as safe as they appear.


2. Don’t Open Suspicious Links

Digital natives likely know this one already, but if you’re someone who has found your Facebook taken over after clicking a link in a message, this is for you.

When in doubt, don’t click. If a friend’s account sends you an email or a message with a link that you did not expect, ask for clarification first. If they can answer, they might think you’re paranoid, but your computer will be safer from cyber threats for it.


3. Think First, Post Later

How much private information do you actually share online? Is it all information that you would gladly share with any stranger in person?

If not, reconsider what you’re posting.

This rings especially true if your posts or information may be part of passwords or security questions. Do you need to answer that survey about your birth year, pets, and mother’s maiden name?

Give that thought a few minutes to gestate and then re approach it later if you think it’s a good idea.


4. Trust Your Online Store

We’re all far too comfortable giving any website our credit card information. If you’re shopping online, it’s best to shop from trusted websites or vendors with some security in place.

This doesn’t mean that you only have to shop with the big box stores, but if you’re going for smaller sellers, check on their privacy policy, contact information, and security certificates before putting in your info.


5. Update Your Software

Do you get annoyed by frequent updates to your phone or computer? You’re not alone, but these updates might be housing something important to your online safety.

When new security threats are discovered, efforts are made to keep systems safe for users. If you’re not updating, you’re not protecting yourself.


Cyber Security 101: Takeaways

Cyber security 101 isn’t rocket science, it’s mostly just knowing when to take extra precaution.

Be careful what you share online, ensure that you have a safe and secure password, and don’t automatically trust every website or message that you receive.

For the newest innovations in online security, or to read more about your online protection, visit our site.