5 Ways to Protect Your Online Activities

Whilst it is important to be vigilant when conducting any type of online activity, the number of high-profile cases where data has been stolen by hackers can make it seem like no matter what you do your data can be at risk.

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When the data breach at TalkTalk took place, the names and addresses of over 150,000 customers were accessed by fraudsters, with bank details of 21,000 people compromised.

Thankfully, there are a number of steps everyone can take to help keep themselves protected.

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1. Ensure Your Passwords Are Complicated

Having a short and easy-to-guess password is a mistake made by many users of sites. Having different passwords for sites is vital, but it can make them difficult to keep track of. Ideal passwords should be hard to guess, containing capital letters, numbers and special characters and not containing any information that people may know about you such as your date of birth.

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2. Cut Down on Risky Clicks

Clicking on links whose provenance is unknown can lead to malware being installed on to your device. Emails from spammers or phishing attempts can contain malicious links which can cause harm to you. Keep yourself protected by only opening links in emails from people you trust.

3. Leave Pop-Ups Well Alone

Pop-up windows are generally seen as an annoyance, but there could indeed be more than meets the eye with them. Sites can include malicious code within a pop-up which installs malware on to your device. If an unsavoury-looking pop-up appears, it’s best to close the browser altogether.

4. Ensure URLs Are Legitimate

In tandem with the email link risks, fraudsters are able to create sites which look and operate just like the real thing, tricking people into inputting their username and password. The best way to ensure that the site is real is checking the URL, as this cannot be faked.

5. Protect Yourself

Using antivirus software or a firewall on your device can help you protect yourself from attacks. It’s better if your antivirus software contains automatic updates, keeping it up to date with the latest issues to appear online.

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