Seven ways to stay safe online

Seven ways to stay safe online

Every year the Australian Government runs Stay Smart Online Week, to raise awareness around cyber safety and the ways people can protect themselves online.

If you are shopping, paying bills or using social media using your Optus NBN™ connection, you should always keep your personal information secure to shield you from any online risks.

By taking on board the following seven security measures, you will be boosting your online security and minimising the risk of your information being stolen.

Be careful with what you share online

Our daily interactions include giving out quite a lot of personal and financial information online. Always guard your info and keep these pointers in mind the next time you share details online:

  • Photos or any information online can be hard to get rid of once you post it. Take extra care when sharing details that could impact your security, such as your address or date of birth.
  • Use the same measures when signing up for online gaming. The less info you have up online, the lower the risk that criminals will be able to use your details in identity theft.

Use two-factor authentication

If you are entering your username and one password, that's considered a single-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication adds another layer of protection when you log into your account. This extra layer of security offers more on-the-go protection. You will typically find it in the security settings of a website.

Create a secure password

Coming up with one super easy password for one website usually leads to you using the same one across various sites. The easier you make it, the more likely you may have your other accounts hacked. Try a mix of letters, numbers and characters when creating a password.

Change your password regularly

Regularly changing you passwords across all your accounts reduces the chances of your accounts being accessed. Try setting a reminder for every 90 days in your calendar to update all your passwords.

Only access your accounts from secure connections

You may think that a brief minute or two connecting to your banking app from free WiFi at the local shopping centre is ok, but if the network has been compromised, it’s enough time for a hacker to grab all the details they need. If you really need to access your accounts, consider looking into getting a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to safeguard an encrypted connection.

Don’t click through on dodgy e-mails

You’ve just received an e-mail letting you know that you have a banking error and need to login and verify your account. Various phishing schemes start with something innocent looking that direct people to sites designed to collect info. If you’ve received an e-mail from your bank or a business, head directly to the website instead of clicking on the link. Those few extra seconds may save you a world of trouble. Keep in mind that most companies will never request your login details, so avoid giving them out.

Also look at increasing the level of junk filtering you have with your email address. Most of the time you’ll be able to catch it before it makes its way to your inbox.

Ensure your anti-virus software is up to date

Always have the most up-to-date version of software and the right security settings enabled. These programs are designed to blocks things such as data-miners off your computer or device. This extra bit of security suitable for mobiles, computers and tablets is there to protect you when you access files or download anything.

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