What You Should Know About Online Safety

Today, the internet is a bigger part of our everyday lives than ever before. These days, the internet is where we go to work, shop and even where we send our children to school.

By Venture Law | Translated by Jamal Fox & Alisson Ziza

Today, the internet is a bigger part of our everyday lives than ever before. These days, the internet is where we go to work, shop and even where we send our children to school.

This means that understanding online risks and how to mitigate them must be a top priority. Below are the top tips to safe your online persona.

Update Your Device

Reminders that your computer or phone needs to be updated can feel like an inconvenience, but it is actually a powerful way to protect yourself online. Maintaining your devices up to date will decrease the ability of hackers to access your personal files, placing your online security in jeopardy.

So, turn on your device’s automatic security updates, set up a firewall, and install or enable an antivirus solution. Although most modern computers come with these features installed, it’s still always a good idea to make sure all three are set up and active.

Change Your Passwords

Prompts to change your password often feel annoying. However, when it comes to protecting your banking and personal information, changing passwords can be a lifesaver. Ideally, you should change your passwords every few months, and don’t make them the same across the board.

When choosing new passwords, create strong passwords that are at least 12 characters long, have a combination of lowercase letters, uppercase letters, symbols, and numbers, and are significantly different from your previous passwords.

Beware of Phishing and Identity Scams

Cybercrime is unfortunately alive and well. Every day, cybercriminals are devising new schemes and tactics to steal your digital identity for access to your personal and financial accounts. Don’t trust requests from unexpected apps and websites that ask you to sign in or share your credentials. A good rule of thumb is that if you didn’t initiate a request, do not verify it.

Be leery of communications that promise a free prize, threaten time pressures, or just seem too good to be true. Additionally, keep an eye out for official-looking emails that contain incorrect spelling and bad grammar. Cybercriminals are not known for their writing skills. If an email is fraught with errors, it isn’t coming from a legitimate organization’s editorial staff; it’s a scam.

Practice Safe Browsing

Cybercriminals notoriously use dubious content as bait. They know that people can be tempted by lurid content, and often let their guards down when searching for it.

The internet is full of hidden dangers, and one careless click can infect your device with malware or expose your personal data. By resisting the urge to visit these dangerous sites, you don’t even give hackers a chance.

Be Careful What You Download

Getting you to download malware is a top priority for many cybercriminals. These are programs or apps designed to steal your information. Malware is often disguised as an app - and can appear to be anything from a traffic or weather service to a popular game. Don’t download anything that looks suspicious or comes from a site you don’t trust.

Remember, online safety can be complicated, so use the safety tips above to protect your personal information and identity online.

At Ventura Law, we help everyone navigate their rights. Regardless of legal status, you have the right to an attorney, and consultations should be free. 

For more information, visit www.venturalaw.com or call 203-800-8000.