Knowing how to be safe while surfing the web is  a pretty straightforward affair.  If you do the simple job of doing the basics it will in most cases keep you in good stead.  Below I will provide a some practical and common sense things you can do to remain safer on your network and on the web.

 

1.Antivirus.

Ok, so we all know by now that there are programs out there that can do harm to our computer, or use our computer as a machine to infect others. Antivirus software is one of the best and most effective ways to stay safe. There are a number of free antivirus for home use. So there’s no excuse.

 

2.Software Updates.

In many cases software updates for you computer or website include security fixes for known vulnerabilities. Update your software when you can.

 

3.Unsolicited email.

If you don’t know the sender in the email address, don’t open it, delete it. In most cases, the subject line will be sensational to get your attention, again, don’t open it, delete it. Sometimes as well you may get mail that looks official with all the right looking images, such as bank logos. If you look at the email address of the sender, you may find that the email address does not have the domain name you would expect it to. Like if I was to get an email from Pay Pal, I would expect the email to contain the domain name ‘@paypal.com’ for example: security@paypal.com. Also, with many of these fake emails they will try to get important information from you like bank account details. This is a dead giveaway that the email is fake,  like the fake email  in the image below:

 

 

Here’s how accurate a spoofed email can look.

 

4.Passwords (good ones).

Ok so who loves an easy password ? One that you can use across all of your sites and devices ? ME ME !! You say. That’s convenient for you and for anyone else who can guess it.  A trick I use is to combine a word that has had some of it’s letters changed to numbers, with a number spelt out in words. An extra layer of security can be added by also mixing in the initials of the program you’re using.

For example I like bicycles and the number 72, and a password for my apple id. I could create a password like 8icyc1es7TWOAPid there you have a strong password. The combination you  choose is up to you.  But using this trick made remembering a long password much easier for me and much more difficult for someone to crack.