4 Tips to Improve Your Online Security

4 Tips to Improve Your Online Security

Your online banking password isn’t 1234 and you don’t post your Social Security number on Facebook. That’s great, but it’s not enough to keep you safe and secure in the online realm.

With cybersecurity threats on the rise, now more than ever it is important to tighten your online security. The good news is you don’t need to be tech-savvy to enjoy proper protection and stave off identity theft. Here are four tips to keep you safe online.

Use Unique Passwords and Change Them Periodically

Two-factor authentication is ideal for essential services, but not all websites and apps implement it. This is where password strength and uniqueness come into play, along with password change frequency. 

Passwords with a lot of requirements are annoying but useful. Think of such a password you had to set and apply the same principles everywhere, even if some websites are loose about it. This roughly means your passwords should have at least eight characters and be a mix of numbers and uppercase and lowercase letters. If allowed, special characters are a welcome bonus.

Pro tip: Don’t reuse important passwords across websites and change them every three months.

Invest in Top-Tier Online Protection

The best way to stay protected online is to delegate this responsibility to an all-encompassing piece of software. This usually comes at a high price and is generally intended for businesses. Fortunately, individuals can now benefit from premium, yet affordable services.

LifeLock offers a number of packages that include identity theft alerts, credit monitoring, and VPN. Other perks you can score are credit card activity alerts, bank account notifications, and be informed if any crimes are committed in your name. Right now, you can take advantage of this LifeLock promo for 25 percent off your first year.

Use Multiple E-Mail Addresses

You most likely have a personal e-mail address already, as well as a work account. Some organizations advise their employees not to use their work e-mail for subscribing to newsletters or online shopping, but even if yours didn’t, it is highly recommended you keep work and personal matters separated.

That’s not all. Even when it comes to personal affairs, it is best that you have several e-mails and use them for different purposes. For instance, associate all your banking messages and logins to a different e-mail address than your social media accounts. This way, you are less vulnerable in case of data breaches on any websites that you log onto.

Be Wary of Phishing Scams and Clickbait

With all the tech out there to protect you, it is still very useful to pay attention to what you click on and what you reply to. Human error is still a major vulnerability, and online scammers are getting better and better at preying upon our deepest insecurities and desires.

If you notice that an e-mail is urging you to act quickly, it’s so that you don’t have time to think about it properly and realize the fraud behind it. Don’t act on impulses, instead, take a step back and search online to see if others have received similar messages. Once you identify a phishing attempt, you need to report it promptly.

Your Online Security Matters

Make an online security checklist and make sure all your family members stay safe online. This means everyone must follow good password and e-mail hygiene practices, and you should have an identity theft plan in place.

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