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General tips on online security from John Black's blog

As our daily online activities continue to grow, so does our exposure to cyber threats. Multiply that by the number of devices we can access the internet through and the risk of our personal information falling into the wrong hands increases exponentially.

These tips will improve your online security.

Protect your identity: use different usernames and passwords for your accounts and make sure your passwords contain a combination of letters, numbers and symbols.

Activate your firewall: the University uses a firewall to help secure its infrastructure. A firewall on your personal computer can help protect it from viruses and malware.

Use anti-virus software: there are several free and paid options to help secure your devices. Install anti-virus software on every device that connects to the internet, and remember to update it regularly.

Block spyware and malware attacks: similar to anti-virus software, anti-spyware and anti-malware software prevent these programs from installing themselves on your computer.

Install the latest operating system updates: Take the time to check for the latest Windows/Mac upgrades, or enable automatic updates and your computer will do the work in the background.

Back up your files regularly: make sure you back up your files to an external hard drive, removable media or cloud storage space so you can access them in an emergency.

Protect your wireless network: make sure you password-protect your wireless network and change the password regularly if more than one person accesses it.

Ignore and delete emails from unknown senders: Never open emails and attachments from senders you don't know. Ignore and delete these messages immediately.

Surf the web safely: only make online purchases from trusted sources and validate security settings when browsing social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). You don't want your personal information to fall into the wrong hands!

Don't hesitate to get expert help: get help from a computer specialist if you need help installing software on your computer and contact the police if you suspect suspicious activity (fraud, identity theft).

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By John Black
Added Jun 5 '21


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