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Stay safe online with these suggestions

Business Technology | April 29, 2011

The recent Playstation security breach has opened many Internet users’ eyes to the seriousness of online security. If the wrong person gets their hands on your information, there is a chance that the result could be harmful. Luckily, there are a number of simple steps you can take to better protect your online identity.

Use an encrypted connection

Encrypted connections are pretty easy to get on many of the most popular sites including Facebook and Twitter. Sometimes, you need to change the privacy settings in order to gain encrypted access. Once that is done, however, it can make your information much more secure.

You can tell whether or not you have an encrypted connection just by checking the URL. If it begins with “https” instead of “http” you have an encrypted connection. If it does not, you can try to change the settings, although it is possible that that particular site does not allow for encrypted connections.

Use strong passwords

Strong passwords are incredibly easy to create and can make a tremendous difference in online security. Using a combination of numbers, symbols, spaces and upper- and lowercase letters can help to create a strong password. If you can’t see yourself using a lot of different characters, at least be sure to use a password that can’t easily be guessed.

It’s also incredibly important to use a unique password for each of your accounts. Using the same password on multiple accounts makes them all vulnerable if just one of them is hacked.

Look out for phishing

Phishing is essentially when a hacker poses as a trusted company in order to gain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and account numbers. It is a rather common practice due to its relative ease – after all, hackers simply need your name and email address to pull this off.

The recent breach of Epsilon was a perfect example. Thousands of names and email addresses were exposed and the companies affected quickly sent out emails telling their clients not to trust any emails that claimed to be from them. Some browsers, but not all, will alert you if a website looks fraudulent, but you still need to be smart to avoid the scams.

These three tips are incredibly easy to follow and do not take much work on your part. If you are interested in a few more tips, check out this article.


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