Whenever you venture online, you face serious security threats that put your identifying information and financial accounts at risk. Over 10 percent of all internet users have experienced the theft of their personal information, including Social Security and bank account numbers, through online security breaches. With the right approach, however, you can actively mitigate the risks and increase the security of your online browsing experience. To get started, simply utilize our comprehensive security checklist to improve your safety during your at-home and on-the-go browsing experiences.
Set Up a Secure Home Network with a Quality Router
The security of your home network hinges on the function of your router. Upon installing your router, you will need to check for firmware updates to verify the hardware has the latest version. Continue to check firmware every few months to keep your guard up against identity theft while online. You will also need to change the default router settings to secure your connection using a unique username and WEP or WPA password. You should always follow the best practices in password creation to help fully secure your router against potential threats.
Utilize Best Practices in Creating and Using Passwords
To prevent the breach of your online accounts and home network, you should always create strong passwords with the right protective elements. As passphrases are more difficult to crack than passwords, choose a phrase of 35 characters or more, including spaces and punctuation, for adequate online protection. Always choose a new, unique passphrase for each account you have to prevent the breach or loss of several accounts at once. If available, utilize two-factor identification to fully preserve your safety online.
Always Log Out of Your Accounts When Done
To protect your online security, always log out of all accounts whenever you are finished with your tasks there. By logging out, you prevent someone from coming up and accessing your accounts after you leave the device. Otherwise, the user can enter your account, change the password and perform other potentially devastating actions.
Install Protective Browser Extensions to Prevent Data Collection
Browser extensions can help stop websites and other entities from collecting your personal data whenever you go online. Look for extensions that block ads, disable tracking cookies and add network plugins for the best boost in security. Check that the extensions are highly rated and well-reviewed to acquire online security support from a reputable company.
Regularly Update Your Operating System and Anti-Virus Protection
Your operating system and anti-virus protection programs work together to protect you from online threats. You must keep your operating system updated with the latest releases to avoid falling susceptible to new threats. You can check for operating system updates weekly to stay on top of your internet security. Your anti-virus software should come highly rated and always remain updated with the current database. Run additional malware scans using other excellent programs for an additional layer of protection.
Only Utilize HTTPS Connections While on Public Networks
Although you should avoid public network connections at all costs, if you find yourself in a bind, at least only browse websites offering an HTTPS connection. This is especially important to remember while shopping, going on social media or accessing any of your other accounts. Through a regular HTTP connection, your information could remain susceptible to theft, despite logging into your private accounts.
Install a Free VPN for Encrypted Browsing
For a truly private and secure browsing experience, utilize a free Virtual Private Network (VPN) service to transfer your online data. The VPN effectively masks your online activity through smart encryption to keep your personal and financial information from getting stolen. As this service mimics the look and function of a regular OS, you will likely find your new online browsing environment quite intuitive to use.
As you move through to the bottom of the security checklist, you can rest assured that you have done all you can to stay safe while browsing online. Stay updated on all the latest internet security practices to be in front of online threats and keep your information safe as you travel across the world wide web.
PS LIGHTWAVE is the consultative data-connectivity provider for public and private entities in the Greater Houston area. Through our high-quality infrastructure, innovative technology and superior level of support, we deliver not only the best in connectivity and reliability but in scalability and redundancy. You’ll also appreciate that the PS in our name stands for “Pure Speed.” We fully understand that technology is a moving target, and we understand the people and infrastructure of the Greater Houston area. We are nimble, flexible and responsive, and we embrace leading-edge technologies that improve the customer experience. We invite you to learn more. Visit our website or contact us. Concerned about connectivity? Think PS LIGHTWAVE.