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Top three online threats and how to deal with them

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There’s not much we don’t do online nowadays! This means we are at risk doing more things, more often than ever before. 

These are three top threats and how to deal with them online provided by Nick Shaw, General Manager, EMEA at Norton.

Online Security

 

Always choose strong passwords and keep them safe

We have passwords for EVERYTHING, from ordering flowers to online banking and social networking to shopping around for deals. 

Despite this, many of us admit to simply using the word 'password' or an easily guessable word for all their accounts such as children, pet names, favourite sports team and dates of birth. 

A hacker can find such details easily on social media, so if this sounds familiar it's time to shake it up; using the same password means that if one of your accounts is compromised hackers have a direct route into all of your online accounts, through your password. 

  •  Select a password that cannot be easily guessed and change your passwords on a regular basis, at least every 90 days. Use a password manager to help remember multiple strong passwords across all your online accounts.

  •  One idea to create strong passwords is to remember a phrase from a favourite play - for example, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away". Use the first letters and you have a password AAADKTDA. If you also want numbers in it then change a letter to a number that reminds you of the letter. For example, AAADKTD4

  •  Adding an extra layer of security with what's referred to as 'two-factor' authentication will significantly increase protection. This could be adding a personal question, taking advantage of finger print scanning, voice recognition or having a secret username.
 

Protect your privacy and personal information

Always be cautious when sharing personal information such as your name, home address, phone number, and email address online. Since not divulging any personal information is rarely possible, make sure you only divulge personal information on legitimate websites that you have chosen to access.

In most cases your personal details will be required in exchange for a particular product/service so think carefully about what you're getting in return.

  •  Think of your personal data as a valuable asset, and reflect rationally on how you want to trade it. Ensure that the products and services you buy and sign up to are from reputable companies: look for privacy policies to ensure you know how your data is being used, and by whom.
  •  Also remember that shopping, banking, or any other website that requires your sensitive information should begin with "https:" (i.e. www.yourbank.com). The "s" stands for secure and should appear in the URL when you are asked to exchange your details. Keep an eye out for the padlock symbol in the web address field. The padlock, and a green address field means that the page is secure. Once you're finished don't forget to log out from the site to keep your details safe.

  •  If you're unsure about the safety of a site you can use SafeWeb, a specially designed website, to check the security of the link
 

Be sure to watch out for hidden surveillance bugs when online shopping

What does malware have to do with online shopping? 

Maybe plenty if your device has been infected with a keylogger or Trojan. Once your device is infected, this insidious software sits behind the scenes - unbeknown to you - and records every keystroke, secretly sending back information to the cybercriminals who planted the bug. 

This includes your address, credit card details or other payment information you've tapped into the most recent 'secure' shopping websites you've ordered from. 

  •  Luckily there's a quick fix for this one - keep your security software up to date and any bugs lurking on your computer, laptop or smartphone will be detected and can be removed.
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