3 Ways To Protect Your Information Online
We're told constantly to backup our data, change our passwords, and keep our information online to a minimum, but we're also told by organisations that our information is safe them with them - so who are we to believe? It's eBay who have been guilty of this most recently - the online auction site was the victim of a coordinated cyber-information-attack that saw cyber-criminals stealing user names, passwords and personal information from their database. Although they did then alert their users, request they changed their passwords, and assure them that no financial information was compromised, it begs the question - what else can I do to protect my information online? Of course, there are the security services provided by IT support companies, but there are also some things you can do on your own.
1. Look out for the padlock
Before you enter any personal or financial information into a website, check that you can see the padlock either in your address bar or somewhere else on the page. This padlock indicates that the website is secure, and uses an SSL or TLS protocol to protect your data. You can also click this padlock to view the website's security certificate, where you can check its credentials.
2. Be conscious of spyware
Be wary when downloading or installing any applications or software from the internet, they may come bundled with hidden, malicious spyware software. Once installed and running, spyware will collect your information without your knowledge; in fact, you probably won't realise it's there at all. Don't rush through installation instructions on any software, and make sure you're not opting in to any spyware applications.
3. Sort out your email
Email is ideal place to steal or elicit information from unsuspecting internet users. It's probably wise to keep two email accounts: one for signing up to websites and one for your personal or private correspondence. That way you're keeping everything separate, so there is less chance of your information becoming compromised. You should also make use of the spam filters on your email - it's a great way to keep out unwanted phishers and scammers. If it's a work email, your IT support department should be able to help you with this.