How to keep yourself safe online – Guest Blog
This week we have Damian Holland from PCPal Stockport helping all of you to keep safe on line. Damian is part of my 4Networking team, I’ve known him since I started up in business and he has helped many of my friends and colleagues with a whole host of IT issues, I am sure you will find his hints and tips in this blog really useful. As always with the guest blogs, his contact details will be at the bottom so you can contact him directly with any questions or advice requests.
Now over to Damian……
Internet Safety: Are you protected when you are connected?
Most of us use a device that is permanently connected to the Internet, either at home, or when out and about. These devices include laptops, smartphones and tablets. It is important to stay safe when using these devices. We have the following tips for you.
Anti-Virus and Internet Safety
Always use anti-virus software on all computers and devices. This includes Android phones and tablets. The only ones that really don’t need it are Apple’s iOS devices.
How a strong password can help internet safety.
Follow these guidelines for ensuring a strong password. Don’t use simple, easy to guess passwords such as names of friends, family and pets. Don’t use words from the dictionary or commonly used passwords such as 12345 or QWERTY. Always use a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
If thinking of – and remembering – passwords seems too much, then try using a password manager. Many are inexpensive or even free. Then you only need remember one master password as the manager generates the other passwords for you as you visit each website.
Wifi Away from home and internet safety
When away from home be extremely careful when using public Wi-Fi hotspots. Never use an unknown ‘Free Wi-Fi’ hotspot. If you are out and about and need Wi-Fi then choose a secure, protected one that you would need a password for.
Links and internet safety
Finally, always use common sense. NEVER click directly on links in emails. Navigate to the required page yourself. Any email from a trusted source such as your bank or HMRC should never provide links in emails but will give instructions on how to access their sites. If you are still unsure contact them by telephone to confirm if the email is genuine. This applies to friend’s emails too. How do you know they have not been compromised?
Be aware of phone calls from scam callers. Microsoft, or their trusted partners, will NEVER cold call you to tell you your computer has a problem.
Block pop-ups on web pages. This can easily be done in the options/settings for your web browser.
Only download trustworthy apps on your devices. There are many un-reputable apps out there, especially on the Android system. Check what they want to access before you download and install them.
Damian has worked for PC Pal for 4 years helping Stockport and the surrounding businesses and public, get online, stay online and be safe online. He can be contacted twitter @PCPalStockport or Facebook/PCPalStockport or email firstname.lastname@example.org