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Be safe online

Security when you, or your family, use online digital devices, is an absolute must as e-criminals become smarter and more prevalent. These can include online scammers, viruses, identity theft and loss of personal information. With the use of such devices becoming a daily aspect of our lives adopting some basic rules to protect yourself, and your family are necessary.


First of all keep your devices clean. By this we mean keep all software up to date. It is very easy to see software update reminders and if busy click ‘remind me later’. This is not a good habit to get into as software updates provide security updates and enhancements. Secondly, always keep your antivirus software up to date as new viruses are found every single day that could compromise the information you have stored on your device. This is true of people using Mac or Linux operating systems and is not only confined to Windows. If you use Mac or Linux and believe that their security is flawless you are leaving yourself wide open to an attack.


The next important step is to always scan any external devices you connect to your computer (USB memory sticks is the obvious example). This is easy to resolve by making sure you switch on external scanning facilities on your device. This may sound obvious but this is how many people have problems.


Finally you must be web savvy when online. If a link or attachment looks strange the chances are it is, so delete and do not open. If something looks too good to be true then it obviously is and the main way e-criminals can access your device. Delete, block or mark as junk. Also when banking or shopping make sure the sites you are using have secure socket layer or SSL for short. Always change your security setting when using a public network. Lastly, keep your passwords complex and change them regularly. The amount of people who get compromised from using passwords like ‘11111111’ or ‘12345678’ is absolutely astounding these days. If you were an e-criminal these are the passwords you would try first and with good reason!