How to stay safe online: CNET’s security checklist

Do you have good habits? Safeguard your personal information against the most common Internet perils by taking these security measures.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Especially when it comes to your personal information. Keeping your info secure online requires you to take more time and care, but what you lose in moments you’ll surely make up in peace of mind.

Follow the steps below to increase your online security.

Protecting your password

Sure, you’re not likely to openly share your password with people you don’t trust, but unfortunately you don’t have to go that far for it to be compromised. Yes, keeping passwords to yourself is a smart first step, but there is room to go further.

One tip is to choose a password that isn’t easy for others to guess. Computer security expert, Bruce Scheier, suggests to “Combine a personally memorable sentence with some personally memorable tricks to modify that sentence into a password.” So if your sentence is “When I was eleven my sister made me fight the neighborhood bully”, your password could be “Wiw11msmmFtnbully”. Obviously, don’t use that one, but instead come up with your own.

Keep your email from getting hacked

Believe it or not, even in the age of Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and text messages, people still use email to communicate. And as a consequence, emails still get hacked. As many times as computer users have been told not to click attachments from untrustworthy sources — or sometimes even from people you doknow — apparently we still click on them. Which unfortunately can lead to your email being hacked or some nefarious program being installed on your machine. So seriously, stop doing that.

If you get an attachment from someone you know that you were not expecting, check with the sender to confirm it was sent on purpose. Clicking on a malicious attachment can install malware on your machine, like a worm or virus.

Here are no less than 10 other ways protect your email from being compromised.

Shopping online

If you’re using your credit card to shop online, there is risk that your information will be stolen and used to buy something against your will. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Only use your credit on websites with the prefix, “https”. The “s” in https indicates that the site in question is using a secure protocol to encrypt communications between you and the website. You’ll see this protocol used on online banking sites and shopping sites if you’re looking at sensitive information.

  • by Eric Franklin


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