At LAPFCU, our highest priority is protecting your personal information and privacy. But we can’t do it alone. We need your help! So check out these ten online safety tips. For more security help, be sure to visit our Security Center at lapfcu.org. Now, without further ado:
- Create Strong Passwords
With seemingly rampant data breaches on the rise, creating complex, unique passwords is important. In the event that one password is stolen, using unique passwords can prevent someone from using one stolen password to access all of your accounts. Consider using a reputable password manager to keep track of different passwords.
- Use a Firewall
A firewall prevents unauthorized access to your computers and devices, and often includes powerful security software. It also protects overlooked devices, such as smart thermostats and webcams. Often these devices have no security, and as such provide hackers with an entrée to your network.
- Secure Your Network
While away from work or home, it’s tempting to connect to a publicly-accessible Wi-Fi network. But consider this: public Wi-Fi is often unsecured. When that’s the case, it’s much easier for hackers to gain access to your device and personal information.
- Don’t Over-Share
Lock down your social media settings, and only share and communicate with people you know and trust. Only include the minimum required amount of information when filing out your profile. The less you share, the harder it is for someone to impersonate you.
- Don’t Click!
Stick to trustworthy websites, and be wary of phishing scams, quizzes, spam, free offers, click bait – many of these things are simply subterfuge for stealing your information or gaining access to your system. If you see red flags or if something just doesn’t feel right, err on the side of caution.
- Update Your Software and Operating System
Make it easy on yourself and turn on automatic software and operating system updates, and let your security software run automated scans. With your updates on autopilot, you won’t have to worry about whether or not you have the latest security patches.
- Secure Your Mobile Devices
With mobile usage now outstripping desktop usage, it’s more important than ever to secure your mobile devices. There are unique risks in the form of links received via text messages, or malicious apps. Don’t respond to anything from anyone you don’t know, and only download apps from official app stores after reading reviews. Keep automatic updates turned on.
- Check for HTTPS
If you’re completing a shopping transaction or submitting personal information through a form on a website, check the address in the browser bar. Make sure the address of the website you’re on starts with https:// and look for the adjacent secure icon, which is often a padlock. This indicates that the information you’re entering is encrypted and much harder to steal.
- Back it up
Regularly backing up your files can protect you when something goes wrong, and these days there many easy-to-use, comprehensive, affordable backup solutions available that automate the process for you.
- Visit the Security Center at lapfcu.org
Visiting the Security Center at lapfcu.org is a good way to get more information about staying safe online. Additionally, we’ll try to keep you informed about some of the latest scams to watch out for, such as ransomware. When this malicious software infects your machine, hackers threaten to lock you out of your files unless you pay a ransom. But you can avoid becoming a victim of scams like this by arming yourself with knowledge.