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How to Stay Safe Online

on Aug 01, 2013

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  • Be selective when giving out your primary email: Think of it this way, would you easily give out your personal phone number to any company or stranger? Probably not. So be careful when giving out your email to websites or leaving it on forums. You could soon find your inbox full of an endless stream of spam.

  • Update your security software regularly: Security and anti-virus software can go out of date quite quickly. With technology advancing every day and hackers coming up with new ways to bypass firewalls and create new viruses, you could be at risk if your software is outdated. Quick solution, set your security software to automatic updates, you won't have to remember to manually download anything and you will always be protected!

Aside: A little confused with which software to get? Take a look at PCMag's top security and anti-virus software picks here.

  • Never give out your credit card number online: According to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, in 2010 8.6 million households in the U.S were victims of one or more types of identity theft. In Canada, Canadians lost a total of $9.8 million due to identity theft. In 2012, this number rose to approximately $15.9million according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. Whatever you can do to stay protected online is in your best interest. Never send your credit card number through email or leave it on forums. When shopping online always make sure the website has strong encryption procedures in place to protect your sensitive information.
  • Create a strong password: For obvious reasons, it's always advised to make a password that is not easily guessable and one that YOU can easily remember. Facebook suggests that a strong password should be at least 6 characters long and have a combination of numbers, letters and punctuation marks. If you want to increase your password strength even further, continue to increase its length and add a combination of lower case and uppercase letters.
  • Create multiple passwords, write them down and store in a safe place: Creating a strong password is really important however, if you use that same password for ALL your accounts, all of your online information can become comprised should someone figure out that one password. Quick solution, create multiple passwords! You should have a unique password for each online account you have. In today's age, people can have dozens of accounts and different passwords. It can be quite tricky when trying to remember all of them. Write your passwords down and store them away from your computer in a secure location. Store your passwords in a safe or in a location where you are the only one who has access.
  • Limit the type of activity you do at public Wi-Fi Spots: Free public Wi-Fi is great, but no so much when your financial information is being stolen! Avoid making financial transactions and making purchases with your credit card while using public Wi-Fi.

Hopefully you learned a few useful tips on protecting yourself online, or maybe this was just a reminder to information you have already learned. Either way remember to be cautious and always do whatever you can to protect your vital information online!

About AlarmForce: AlarmForce provides security alarm monitoring, personal emergency response monitoring, video surveillance and related services to residential and commercial subscribers throughout Canada and selected centres across the United States. AlarmForce is a leading provider of two-way voice alarm systems in Canada. For more information call us at 1800-267-2001 or visit us at alarmforce.com and www.videorelay.com.