So the Mayans were wrong. We’ve survived their fatal predictions and yet another year has passed, leaving behind a chain of ever-evolving online threats. From massive hack attacks, rampant computer infections, mobile malware, spear-phishing attacks, malicious websites, spam zombies, to Facebook scams, online privacy invasions, even (and especially!) on Facebook and cyberbulling. The list may, of course, continue. But now that we’re about to enter a new year, what lessons are we drawing from this past one?
In 2013, I want to be…
Safe online? Protected while on the go? More aware of what my kids are doing? If you had another idea for completing that gap, we recommend you revise your thoughts. 2012 has shown us just how dangerous the online environment has become, and in the same way authorities urge you to keep your seatbelt buckled up when driving, we strongly recommend you don’t go online unprotected – for your own safety, and that of your entire family. Consider this our New Year’s resolution – we want you safe.
So, what have you learned?
In order to avoid scams, fraud, device infections and more while surfing the web, banking and shopping online, socializing, playing games, and make sure your entire family is protected, hopefully you’ve learned that you should:
1. Be security-aware. Keep yourself informed about all threats and risks you’re exposed to. Start by reading this article: How’s your cybersecurity awareness? If you get hungry for more, you can always re-visit this blog and go over to our Security Centre, as well.
2. Keep your personal information private. Make sure it doesn’t land in the wrong hands, by: making your passwords strong and unique for each online account you own and changing them regularly; not oversharing on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest and other social networks; installing antiphishing and antispyware tools on your internet-connected machines; avoiding connections to unsecured Wi-Fi networks; managing wisely your online reputation.
3. Shop safely. Avoid too-good-to-be-true offers, use safe online payments and look for https in the web address of any web page you’re about to enter your credit card details to. Also check out these safety tips.
4. Look after your children but do not nag them. Install parental controls on their devices to make sure they do not reveal too much information of themselves or engage in dangerous conversations with ill-intended strangers. Do friend them on Facebook but do not cross the line and embarrass them.
5. Keep your device clean. PCs, smartphones, tablets, USBs can all easily get infected with malware, should you leave them without protection. So, keep all your apps and computer programs up to date, as well as operating systems and browsers – to avoid having any security holes exploited by hackers and malware, install an effective security suite that include effective antivirus protection, like BullGuard Internet Security 2013 or BullGuard Mobile Security, and scan your devices regularly for viruses.
6. Immediately report any online frauds and scams, identity thefts, cyberbullying or any other issue threatening your security to the authorities or websites whose services you use:
Do you find these precautions and safety tips useful? Tell us!
Upcoming… BullGuard’s 2013 security predictions stay tuned!