Technology has changed the way the world works and interacts, and for the most part it has been for the better. However, as people continue to rely more and more on their devices and the internet, scammers and hackers find more ways to hurt them. Cyber security is becoming more important than ever to keep your information and devices safe, and these tips should set you on the path to a more security online presence.

Update your devices with the most recent security patches.

Updates ensure that your devices are running at peak performance, and the security patches that come with each update fix any gaps that have been found in the device’s security. By frequently updating, many of the ways hackers can get in and access information are patched up. An easy way to ensure a device is always updated is by turning on automatic updates, and regularly restarting computers.

Use secure passwords.

Using a secure password, and changing it frequently, can help prevent other people from accessing your accounts and information. Using upper and lower case letters, special characters, and numbers all help make a password more secure. On the other hand, using names, birthdates, or any other easily discoverable information as a password can make it easier to guess.

If you have a hard time remembering your passwords, you can use a free password manager tool like LastPass. LastPass is a secure manager that stores all of your usernames and passwords in one safe place, called a Vault.

Be careful to avoid phishing.

Don’t click on any links, pictures, or ads that you aren’t absolutely sure are safe. This is especially important in emails, as email phishing scams are a huge cause of security breaches and can target anyone. The links can actually give varying levels of access to your device’s information, or can take people to a landing page that tricks them into providing the desired information.

Avoid unsecured websites.

Unsecured websites are more at risk for being hacked and information being stolen from the users. The lack of a secured connection can be dangerous, but it is easy to check. Just look in the top-left corner by the web address for a lock; if it’s closed, the website is secured, and if it’s unlocked or says “not secure” then the website does not have a secure connection.

Run antivirus software.

Antivirus software is a huge help to keeping devices safe, as it screens for any viruses or malware that hard the device or steal data. This software can help prevent any damage before it happens, and tips off the user to the threats. Many computers and devices come with the software already downloaded, but it can expire. Make sure to renew the subscription and keep it updated to keep the protection active.

There are lots of antivirus softwares available to purchase and install onto your computer: McAfeeNortonBitdefender, and uBlock Origin, just to name a few. Any of these are good options depending on what will work best for the computer you have and price you want to spend.

Don’t broadcast your personal information.

With social media playing such an important role in people’s lives, more personal information than ever is easily accessible to anyone wanting to find it. Hacking and phishing isn’t even necessary for people wanting to do harm when so much of the information is just a google search away. By updating security and privacy settings, and avoiding oversharing information in the first place, you can protect yourself from many different types of cyber threats.

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