For the last two years or so, you have probably spent more time than ever online. From working from home to shopping at e-commerce retailers to paying bills and more, our computers have offered us an invaluable way to continue on with our day-to-day lives, despite the global situation.
Unfortunately, all of this online time can come with a price: a risk to your cybersecurity. There is no shortage of news stories about retailers being hit by hackers, and you may have friends and family who have had their personal information stolen.
The plus side to this situation is that your Cybersecurity Fundamentals does not inevitably have to be at risk. By taking a number of proactive steps, you can rest assured that your time online will be as safe and secure as possible.
Invest in an Identity Theft Protection Plan
One of the best ways to keep your name and other personal data safe is by investing in a company that will keep tabs on this information for you. For example, LifeLock’s partnership with Norton means they are now offering advanced services including identity and Social Security number alerts, security for an unlimited number of personal devices, VPN for unlimited personal devices, 401(k) and other investment activity alerts and more.
Thanks to LifeLock’s innovative technology and alert tools, your credit, finances and personal data will be proactively protected, and you will be immediately alerted by text, phone, e-mail or mobile app when potential identity theft takes place. Learn more at lifelockpartner.com.
Never Leave Your Laptop or Smartphone Unattended
If you enjoy working from a public place like a coffee shop or library, you should keep your devices with you at all times — even during a quick trip to the counter to grab your latte or to hop into the restroom. If you do need to leave your laptop, phone or tablet for any amount of time, lock it up so no one else can see or access it. Additionally, any sort of protected data stored on a flash drive should be encrypted and locked, the UC Berkeley Information Security Office suggests.
Shopping for pretty much anything you need and want online is fast and stress-free, but not all vendors are reputable and reliable. Some cyber crooks may create a false website that looks legit but is really just there to steal your identity and credit card info.
Before you start filling your online cart at a new-to-you vendor, check the site certificate information and take note of the location and phone number of the company, and then also double-check that your data is encrypted by visiting sites with an URL that begins with https: instead of http:. As a backup, use a credit card instead of a debit card when shopping online, as there are laws that limit the amount you will be liable for when a credit card is used for a fraudulent purchase.
Enjoy the Convenience — Just Be Careful
The internet has certainly made life easier in a number of ways. Despite its inherent risks, we don’t have to give up the convenience we have come to enjoy with paying our bills, shopping and socializing with others with a few taps on a screen. By accepting that hackers are out there trying to access info at all times and then taking some simple proactive steps to keep them at bay, you can continue to enjoy your time online, knowing you are doing what you can to safeguard your cybersecurity.