Cybercrimes can strike anyone or anything at any time, but knowing the best ways to protect yourself and your technological devices can keep you from becoming the next victim. If you are not already doing so, following are several cyber safety tips that you should consider using.
Cyber Safety Tips: Protecting Yourself and Your Technological Devices
1. Approximately 1 million new malware threats are released per day. It’s critical to keep your antivirus program up to date, especially if you are an independent business owner or work from home often and do not have an IT department to handle these issues for you.
2. Keep your private information private online, especially on your social media pages. Use the privacy settings on your social media pages to limit what strangers can see.
3. You may feel confident that you won’t fall prey to online scams, but some are trickier than you know. Do not open unsolicited emails or attachments, and do not download information from sites that you are not familiar with. Do not make online purchases from unfamiliar sources.
4. Create stronger passwords, as hackers are smarter than ever when it comes to cracking the codes. Passwords should be at least 15 characters long and feature a random stream of letters, numbers, and special characters. Remember to lock your phone as well with a password, face ID, or fingerprint ID.
5. When you are using the internet, make sure your connection is secure. On a secure site, the “lock” to the left of the URL is locked. If you regularly use public WiFi connections, you should:
- Avoid sharing private information while using public connections.
- Use free WiFi only from reputable sources and businesses.
- Keep in mind that URLs that are identified as “https” are safer than “http” sites.
- Disable network and file sharing while you are using the free WiFi.
- Install a VPN (Virtual Private Network) on your device.
6. If you use dating websites, do not provide potential matches with sensitive personal information, such as your address, your mother’s maiden name, or even your own last name. Individuals you meet online are not always who they say they are. They can use that information to steal your identity for financial purposes or wreak havoc on your personal life, such as through cyberstalking.
7. One of the most important cyber safety tips is to be careful who you share photos with. Once they have your photo, you can’t take it back. They can then use it to steal your identity, or worse.
8. When making purchases online, opt for a credit card rather than a debit card. Better yet, obtain a prepaid card or open a separate account for online transactions only. Keep only a small amount of money or a limited credit limit on these accounts. If you do become the victim of theft, this way the thieves won’t be able to take as much from you.
Cyber Safety Tips for Apartment Living
If you live in an apartment community, it’s easy for your neighbors to pick up your WiFi connection. Make sure your connection is secure, and do not share your passwords with individuals you do not know. Once they have that password, they can use it anytime they please if they are nearby. That means you may have to end up paying for their internet usage if you don’t have an unlimited plan, or, even worse, you could be blamed for crimes they are committing while online.
If you don’t have your own secure internet, we offer WiFi connections at the clubhouses of many of our apartment communities, located in West Bloomfield, Rochester Hills, Novi, Northville, Commerce Township, Canton, and Auburn Hills. Feel free to sit back in our clubhouse!