There are endless lists of rules to stay safe online. Cyber risks are real.
Here Are A Few Helpful Tips For Safe Online Activity.
For readers here at HealthyLivingAfter60.com, many of the risks in corporate settings or those from colleges and universities are not applicable.
That’s not to minimize the fact that risks are real, but if you are not apart of a larger network, your risks are lessened.
Regardless Of Which List Of Risks We’re Reading, Three Threats Stand Out.
First, The lists all include email watchfulness. Phishing is a real and legitimate threat to anyone receiving email.
If you are not familiar, phishing, it is a play on words for fishing. Essentially, there are thieves fishing for your personal data that will give them access to your financials.
They are tricky and very good at what they do. As an internet user, it is nearly impossible to know who’s phishing and who is only trying to sell you something.
In most cases, it doesn’t matter. Both are unwelcome.
The favored method of attack is by email. Have a look at one we got recently,
Image if you unknowingly offered your bank account information to a stranger.
This is a real email. Had we clicked on the link, we would have started a chain of events that could have easily lead cyber criminals into our bank account.
They would then be free to help themselves to whatever they wanted.
The fix for this threat is to delete any email you are not sure of. That is probably most of them.
Don’t open them or any attachments they might include.
You should go deeper however. Let assume that you have an account from a store like Target. They had a huge security breach a couple of years ago. So did Home Depot.
If you receive an email with a Target (pick any account) with authentic looking logos and headers asking you to click a link, don’t.
It may only have a link that says click here. Even if you think it’s legitimate. Do Not Click The Link.
Delete the email. Then login into your account as you normally would. The link in the email can take you anywhere. Russia would be a good bet.
This second example suggests that my account has been suspended. Oh really? I deleted the email and forgot about it. My account is just fine.
I wouldn’t be able to say that had I clicked the link.
It’s important to know that opening an attachment gives them almost instant access to your computer and all that is in there.
You have no way of knowing what email is legit and which are frauds. Treat them all the same. Delete and login in the usual fashion. Then you are 100% certain you’re safe.
It is the 1st rule of staying safe online.
Second, From nearly every list on computer security, comes the warning of identity theft.
Popular sources of risk will include using your computer in open wifi locations such as Starbucks or McDonalds.
Should you experience an attack of malware or other form of cyber corruption, the hackers will find their way through you computer firewall.
Access to your computer, and whatever is in there, is available to the hackers.
That will include bank accounts with passwords, and Credit card accounts with passwords.
For many, social security numbers and perhaps, tax returns saved in your documents folder will be stolen.
As you know, anyone with your social security number and a limited amount of information, can open new accounts, borrow money plus buy and sell property. All with your identity.
The results can drain your accounts, cripple your credit rating and require years to sort it out.
The strategy to prevent or minimize your risk begins with strong passwords. The days of using your pet’s name are gone forever. If you are determined not to change and update, know the risks are very real.
Next is to invest in an identity protection firms such as LifeLock. They will monitor your financial accounts and alert you to possible attacks.
Use trusted virus protection and make sure to download updates as they occur. The same is true of popular programs such as Acrobat or QuickTime.
Often, when big programs like Acrobat offer an update, it is to patch a security risk that has been discovered.
These tips will help assure that you are safe.
Protecting you identity is the second rule to stay safe online.
Third, The Need For The Awareness Of Risks In Social Media.
Many like the features of Facebook. The idea of connecting with friends has a special appeal.
Social Media is one of those things you either love to use or you don’t. For those who like the medium, caution needs to be taken.
The risks come when you leave the platform. That can happen when you click a link to read or finish a story, watch a video or explore the ‘rest of the story.’
You often do not know where the link is leading. Even a post from a friend may not be as you expect. Watch for clues at the top of the post.
Having said all this, do not overthink Facebook. Just be careful where links are taking you.
It’s the third rule to stay safe online.
Do You Know What A Cookie Is?
Often when you are surfing around the net, you’ll end up looking at products at sites like Amazon or services such as hotels or airlines.
Many of the sites you visit place a piece of ‘code’ into your computer that identifies your specific computer as visiting their product site. The code is known as a ‘cookie.’
Later, when you visit a site like HealthyLivingAfter60.com you will see that very product or service show up in an ad.
You might think it an incredible coincidence. It’s not.
We offer Google the opportunity to serve ads like you see here. Not all that you see come from cookies, but it is the cookie that’s in your computer, that determines some of ads you see.
Two users, on two separate computes will see two different ads here on this site. We don’t pick them, your personal computer determines what you see. It’s all about the cookie.
If you ever want to clear your cookies you can do so easily. Just know that you may also clear other data. Saved password are a possibility.
We could offer a tutorial on clearing ‘cookies’ but each machine is a little different. My Mac will not be the same as your Dell. Windows 10 may be different than Windows 7.
The best thing to do is Google the phrase, ‘How to clear cookies on my [place computer or operating system here].’
As an example, I would type in the Google bar, ‘How to clear cookies on my Mac.’
There Are Rules To Stay Safe Online.
The list of things to do will often be seven or ten key points. These three are the most often stated.
Keeping your computer safe is vital. Our hope here at HealthyLivingAfter60.com is to offer tips on all aspects of life.
Cyber security is real and needs to be taken as just that. Your financial future depends on being vigilant.
If you have questions or suggestions or wish to comment. Please do so in the comments section below.