10 Aug A guide to staying safe online

Why is it important to stay safe online?

There are many benefits that come with surfing the web – whether using it to expand your knowledge, pass the time, or to stay connected with friends and family – but in a world that’s becoming more digitised by the day, there’s also a growing number of security risks. With a plethora of new apps and sites appearing each day, cyber attacks are becoming more advanced, causing yet more users to have their personal details used for committing crime. Keeping this in mind, it’s essential that device users stay on top of online security to keep themselves, their belongings, and their loved ones safe. 

How can you stay safe online?

Be careful who you trust

Do you really know who you’re speaking to online? Scammers will use a variety of techniques in an attempt to nab your personal information, often disguising themselves as a trustworthy account, or even as a friend or family member. In situations like these, trust your gut. Ask around to see whether the profile is legitimate, and judge whether the message is likely to be a scam. In most cases, if the scenario appears too good to be true, it often is. 

Keep your devices hidden

Avoid luring a burglar into your home by ensuring that your devices are hidden from view. Leaving a laptop in front of a window, or keeping your phone in your car wouldn’t be the wisest choices. Instead, either keep your devices on you in a secure case/ bag, or leave them locked inside your home, away from windows and, subsequently, prying eyes. 

Head over to one of our previous posts on the worst places to hide your valuables to make sure that you’re not putting your devices at risk. And, for advice on some alternative, safer spaces, our guide on how to hide valuables at home will give you a helping hand. 

Avoid sharing personal information online

Be careful before you take to social media and share a post. Could it reveal information about yourself that could then be used against you? For example, sharing your location may seem perfectly harmless, but if your account is public, you increase the risk of becoming a target of crime. So, before you share that you’re currently on holiday, or if you’re about to unveil your brand new home, consider making your account private first. 

On the flip side, if someone should outright ask you for any of your personal information, such as your birthday, your address, passwords, or bank account details, don’t do it – even if a prize is on offer. Under no circumstances should you ever share your personal information with anyone, online or otherwise. 

Choose a secure password

The simpler your passwords are, in most cases, the easier they will be to guess. If, for example, your password is simply your pet’s name, the place you were born, or your birthday, the answers might often be plastered on your social media page. Therefore, to create a secure password, avoid using personal information, steer clear of “real words”, don’t use the same password for multiple accounts, and make the password longer – you could also include random numbers and symbols to make it even harder to guess. You could also use two-factor authentication for an additional layer of security – this will require users to input an additional login credential, beyond a simple username and password. Naturally, this makes accessing the account more of a challenge. 

Keep your password safe

Once you’ve come up with a secure password, maintain your safety online by keeping your password safe. Never share your password with anyone, and don’t write it down. If this critical information falls into the wrong hands, you could risk falling victim to crime. 

Avoid phishing scams

Phishing scams are becoming more advanced by the day, so it’s important that device users know exactly what to look out for to stay safe online. Although the message may appear to come from a person or business you know and trust, this may not necessarily be the case. Instead, this will be a hacker’s attempt to access your personal details, or they might trick you into clicking on a link or attachment that could infect your device. So, what are the best ways to protect yourself from phishing? 

Security shouldn’t stop at device protection. Ensure that the entirety of your home, and your valuables, are protected with the help of a robust driveway gate. Get in touch with our team today to enhance your property’s security today.