Basic Tips to Keep Your Devices and Family Safe
1. Separate and strengthen passwords
Even though it seems like common sense to always have strong passwords to keep your devices and networks secure; this is one of the most common vulnerabilities and will always be the first step towards cyber security. Passwords like the randomly generated ones with a mixture of letters, numbers and symbols are typically the most difficult to hack because there is little to no information that links to the owner. Never use the same password for different systems and never use passwords intended for business use with personal accounts. If you do experience a security breach, this will ensure it doesn’t affect all aspects of your life.
2. Free Wi-Fi is never truly free
Free Wi-Fi seems harmless and convenient but like most things, anything free comes with some kind of cost. It can be as harmless as marketing or geolocation but when you give permissions you create vulnerabilities. Do not do anything sensitive over open Wi-fi like banking, logging into personal data accounts or even online shopping.
“Wi-fi tracking” is something that many businesses use to track uses who login to their public networks to understand your online behaviours and even your physical whereabouts. It is also possible that by accepting the terms and conditions of the free Wi-Fi Network, allows the provider to sell your personal data to the highest bidders for targeted advertisements. The buying and selling of personal information are a billion-dollar industry. The only way to avoid these instances from happening is to either avoid using free Wi-Fi or to install a VPN on all your devices that masks your IP address.
To learn more about the risks of using public Wi-Fi, check out Norton’s blog “The risks of public Wi-Fi”
3. Understand your privacy settings
Are geotags taken off the pictures you take on your phone? Are your location settings turned off when not in use? These are questions you should be asking yourself and your family. The fifth-generation mobile network, launched at the end of 2018, made internet browsing faster by each device touch. Most of us are in a rush to get the information we are searching for within seconds, and we’re also impatient enough to skip-through important user agreements that will state the privacy terms. Don’t make the same mistake over and over again by agreeing to harmful [lack of] privacy terms — read all terms and conditions.
By using a smart phone, you’re engaging in activity that could lead to cyber-attacks if you don’t secure your settings. When downloading applications from your respective device’s provider, you will be asked to authorize permissions for functionality. For example, if you are using an app that requires GPS, you will likely need to turn-on your location. Make sure that you read all prompts before you agree and if you accidently agree to something, disable the permission by going to the app’s settings or disable to app entirely.
By taking the time to understand the internet of things and how devices share information, you are stepping in the right direction towards protection. To avoid cyberattacks, keep all software up-to-date and remember to change your passwords regularly. There is always more to learn regarding cyber security and our team is always happy to help ensure that your internet connection is robust, and your home is secure.