Understanding Online Security

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Unless you’ve moved to the wilderness to live a nomadic existence off the grid – (in which case how on earth have you accessed this blog?) – it’s impossible not to have almost every aspect of your life accessible online. There’s the things you’d like to keep private like photos, emails and social media accounts; then there’s financial valuables like your banking, investing and online shopping accounts. So it’s no wonder we’re all asking – am I vulnerable to being hacked? Is my cyber-self really secure? It’s an issue we’ve all been told to worry about without being given any real idea how to solve it.

There are countless complex ways to ensure your cyber-security, most of which involve complicated programs and software terminology that mean absolutely nothing to us regular folk. So we’ve decided to compile a list of 5 of the most simple and easily understood ways to improve your cyber-security.

  1. Ever heard of a Password Manager? A password manager creates strong, unique passwords for every account you have online, and the only one you need to remember is the master password to the password manager itself! Once you log into your password manager all your online accounts are automatically logged in – so it also saves you time logging into each individual account.  
  2. Get yourself a Virtual Private Network – VPNs should be used every time you’re using a WiFi network that you don’t know. Every time you’re on an unsecure network it’s possible that someone else on that network is snooping through your files and stealing your data, but a VPN will encrypt this data and route it through a private server so absolutely no one can stickybeak.
  3. Pay with your Smartphone – when you pay with Apple Pay or any android equivalent you are required to use either touch of face ID when making purchases, meaning that even if someone manages to steal your phone you won’t be at risk. Paying with a smartphone also completely eliminates the risk of having your data stolen by a credit card skimmer.
  4. Have a spam email account – email addresses are used to sign up to just about everything. Some of these things are important and completely legitimate, like your banking. Other things, like online shopping or travel websites – not so much. Creating one email for more professional and important things, and one for spam will not only help you organisationally – it will mean that all dodgy and unimportant accounts are linked to the one address – far far away from your more valuable data.
  5. Lock it up – never leave your phone, tablet or laptop lying around unlocked, even if it’s just to quickly run to the bathroom. A hacker only needs a moment with an unlocked device to turn your world upside down, so don’t give them that chance!

For more in-depth tips on how to ensure your cyber-security check out this article – https://au.pcmag.com/features/53058/12-simple-things-you-can-do-to-be-more-secure-online

Another great resource for is our very own Martin Haak from Infinite Edge. www.infiniteedge.com.au Martin has been supporting depo8 and our members for the past 3 years and offers a refreshing approach to IT, IT security and how organisations can support their business in relation to cybersecurity and vulnerabilities.