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The last year saw an unprecedented reliance on the internet to get daily tasks done. From scheduling grocery deliveries to working and learning at home, internet use has become a daily requirement for many people. While 2020 is in the past, we're not ready to leave behind our reliance on the internet. Here's what you can do to make sure you're using it safely.
Up Your Password Protection
Many websites save your data, and while that can make logging in and checking out a breeze, it also means insufficient password protection can easily leave your information compromised. Avoid common words and phrases - including street names, phone numbers, and organizations. Stay away from names and dates and use upper and lowercase letters as well as numbers and special characters.
Each account you hold should have its own unique password. Password keepers are available if you need help keeping track of them. Avoid posting them in visible or easy-to-locate spots and never share your account information or passwords with others.
Use Only Secure and Trusted Websites
Shopping more online? Looking to make a positive impact on our communities and trying to shop locally? Investing in your neighbors' businesses is a great way to do that, but some small businesses may not have a website set up that allows you to pay safely online. If it's not a secure website - indicated by https in the URL and a handy padlock symbol in the URL bar - pick up the phone and call to place your order instead.
Stick to Known Networks
When you work from home or in an office on a trusted network you control security protocols and reduce the risk of being exposed to cyberattacks. Public and unprotected Wi-Fi networks should always be avoided whenever possible. Remember, other compromised devices on a shared network can leave your own devices vulnerable to attack.
Take Additional Security Measures
Making smart choices about your passwords, websites, and networks can do a lot to keep your information protected. It doesn't have to stop there, though. Cybersecurity software can be used as well, enhancing protection to both networks and individual devices. Equipping your devices with security measures can help keep your data safe even when you're accessing the internet on networks that don't belong to you, like when you're working at the office or out of town on business.
In your own home, you likely have a number of items using your network you may not even consider when you think about cybersecurity. Smart televisions, thermostats, even refrigerators, can pose a risk and become a point on entry to your network for a would-be hacker. Using a VPN router on your home network can help hide your location
and protect all the devices you have at home - not just your mobile phone and home computer.
Cybersafety in 2021
Both businesses and individuals are embracing stronger cybersecurity
measures in 2021. Avoid becoming a victim and keep your information secure by following basic online safety protocols - and embracing the improved cybersecurity technologies as they come along.
Matthew Stern is a technology content strategist at TechFools
, a tech blog aiming at informing readers about the potential dangers of technology and introducing them to the best ways to protect themselves online.
As a tech enthusiast and an advocate for digital freedom, Matthew is dedicated to introducing his readers to the latest technology trends and teaching them how to gain control over their digital lives.
Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.
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