Whether you run a large business or are a personal user, securing your hardware and online platforms should be a huge priority. In an age where access to somebody's online profile could lead to major identity theft, it is of paramount performance that you take this issue seriously. Here are a few tips on adding muscle to the safety of your online data.
Take your password seriously
We have all heard the advice regarding passwords: it should include letters and numbers, it should not contain any clear English words, it should be longer than 6 characters and it should be different for every single one of your online profiles. The big question is how do you satisfy all of those criteria and still come up with passwords that you can remember every time you log on to a system.
One good tip is to think of a famous phrase (say, your favourite line from a movie) and reduce it to the first letter of each word before adding a couple of memorable numbers at the end (perhaps a loved one's birthday). This will make no sense as a sentence but will be easy to remember for you.
Look out for dodgy online shops
While most online sales platforms are trustworthy, there are plenty that are not. Spotting a dodgy shop takes a bit of attention but there are some tell-tale signs for which you should look out. Any site that only accepts cash, cheque or virtual payments are almost certainly not to be trusted. You are much safer paying by credit card.
Also, look for a physical address and contact details for those that run the site.
Avoid bogus security companies
Be wary of any ‘security expert' that contacts you unsolicited to tell you have a virus on your computer. In reality, this will be a company asking you to pay them a fee to eliminate a virus you do not have. They are working off a list and, somehow, you have made it on. Ignore them completely and do not download anything that they have to offer.