Web security and privacy of online users are seriously in doubt since the discovery of ‘HeartBleed’ flow. As soon as this flaw was discovered, it was all over the media. Everyone was talking about it. In case you missed the news, a Google security engineer and some other researchers released information that they had discovered a serious flaw, called “Heartbleed”, in various versions of the OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This is the security normally used to secure millions of websites.
What this means?
We really need to take our online security seriously. Here are 5 tips that you can follow from your side to at least make sure you are doing the right things to stay safe online:
- Make strong password: Make sure you have a strong password for the emails, file storage services and banking. Keep it long, mix characters, number, special characters and small and capital letters.
- Use different passwords for different services: All accounts should have separate passwords. For example, your email passwords should be different from your facebook, banking or any other service. If one is compromised, it is high chances that all of them might be compromised if all the passwords are the same.
- Use Secure networks: you have to be extra careful when you are using a network that you don’t know for example you are using a wifi at airport, or café. Never share passwords or other important data online when you are in an unknown network.
- Lock your device: make sure you lock your laptop or any other device while going away from it. Even if you go away for few seconds, its best to lock it before you go. Never trust friends when it comes to your privacy. You won’t believe the amount of cases that occur every day where friends are responsible for stealing private information.
- Stay email safe: Hackers send phishing emails to online users. These email are sent in the name of your bank, insurance or even from ato asking for your personal login details. For ex: a hacker can send you an email saying this is an email from ato and you are eligible for further tax return as per our recent calculations and will ask you to fill your personal TFN no. and other login details. If you fall prey to this kind of email and fill in the details, your TFN might get compromised and login detail will fall into wrong hands.
- Use antivirus software: Make sure you are using all sort of safety software like antivirus, anti-spamware, antimalware and some other software that protect you from dodgy sites, Trojans, virus, spams, and scams. Also, set them to scan regularly. These software are important and Paying for such software is worth it.
- Back up your data: In case, you could not avoid an attack from a hacker, at least you should have a back up of your important data. This backup should of course not be secured on the same computer, rather store it in a separate disk or another PC/usb.
- Check device before using: If you are using a usb, disk or CD/dvd that you just bought or someone sold it to you or gave you free in some public fair, make sure you check it for virus before using it as they might already have a virus and using it on your pc can infect your pc with that virus. So buy it only from a trusted source. Or if you are using it in a company, get it checked from your IT security department before using it on your business pc.
- Stay away from Scam/hoax websites: Scam websites are made to trick you to click on a spam link or make you fill your personal details. Or just opening these websites can load harmful software on your computer which can either upload virus in your pc or send the personal information stored on your pc to the hackers. Do not get tempted with that hot girl telling you to click her to reveal more.