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6 Things You Can Do to Be More Secure Online

By: Lindsay McKay

Published On: July 9, 2021

Things You Can Do to Be More Secure Online

Everyone is online, for work, on social media, gaming, shopping, and so much more. While some of us try to be secure online, we do not have the knowledge you learn in cybersecurity courses, such as cybersecurity best practices, there are still ways to be more secure online. I have compiled a list of 6 easy things you can do to be more secure online now.  

Keep Safe While Using Public WiFi 

Public WiFi, we all use it. Whether at a coffee shop, the mall, or an airport, but we should be careful with what we do on this public, unsecure network. The biggest threat is the potential of a hacker positioning themselves between you and the connection point. This would allow the hacker the ability to: 

  • Distribute malware 
  • Steal your data 
  • Packet sniffing/eavesdropping 
  • Hijack your connection and take over your device 

Be smart while using public WiFi and do not access your online bank account; if you must use your data instead. Getting a VPN is another option as it encrypts everything you send and receive over a WiFi network. 

Keep Up to Date 

It is important to keep all your apps, operating systems, and other software up to date. Developers are constantly putting our updates to not only fix bugs and add features to their products, but to fix vulnerabilities and other security issues. Read more about the risks of outdated software. 

Use Two-Factor Authentication 

Two-factor authentication can be a pain, but it absolutely makes your accounts more secure. Enabling 2FA gives you another layer of authentication and protection, making it difficult for people to hack your accounts. Remember, hackers like the path of least resistance. With 2FA, you have now become more difficult to compromise. 

Clear Your Cache 

Have you ever looked at your browser cache? What even is it? When you browse through the internet and browse different sites, your browser saves several contents and data in temporary storage. A browser cache saves data like images and HTML, as well as cookies which save your name, email, address, credit card info and anything else you have used on the site. It is important to clear your cache from time to time to optimize the speed of your device and delete your personal information from all the websites you have visited. Unsure how to clear your cache? Here is a useful guide for how to clear your cache on different browsers 

Enable Functional Cookies Only on Websites 

When you first visit a website, you need to agree to their cookie policy, usually with a pop-up. Most people will click ‘agree’ without a second thought. But take a second and read the pop-up; if there is a ‘learn more’ option, click that. Depending on the website, you will have the option to choose ‘only necessary cookies’ which vary depending on the site. Other cookies include: 

  • Performance cookies: enable website functionality and website features, some end when the website is closed, while can last six months to a year 
  • Analytical cookies: monitor overall performance and usability of the website, number of visitors, how and where they navigate on the website 
  • Marketing cookies: these follow you around the web to try and show you relevant ads and marketing campaigns. These cookies can be stored for up to 3 months and are the safest ones to turn off 

Check a Website’s Reliability 

Only give your information away on reliable websites. The first thing to check to ensure you are on a secure and reliable website is looking for the little padlock to the left of the URL which means it is encrypted and secure. Other criteria to look for include: 

  • The URL has HTTPS not HTTP, indicating the website is secure with an SSL certificate 
  • Checking to see all plugins and the overall theme is up-to-date  
  • Any ads feel organic and do not obscure the main content 
  • If you are still unsure, you can use a website safety checker like Google Safe Browsing 

Learn more about the best practices online through taking a CompTIA A+ certification training course. Or take things one step further with CompTIA Security+ certification, CompTIA Network+ certification or CompTIA CySA+ certification training through an accredited institution such as TE which is a network member of Ashton Education  

Disclaimer

The information contained in this post is considered true and accurate as of the publication date. However, the accuracy of this information may be impacted by changes in circumstances that occur after the time of publication. Ashton College assumes no liability for any error or omissions in the information contained in this post or any other post in our blog

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