Staying Safe Online: 5 Tips from Big Dog Digital

By: July 13, 2014 5 mins read

I'm a fountain of wisdom...

For the great majority of us, the Internet has become a central feature of our daily lives. We communicate via social media. We do our shopping online. We manage our bank accounts and promote our businesses on our smartphones and laptops. In this brave new world of digital convenience, however, we are ever more vulnerable to theft and fraud. That’s why Big Dog Digital has come up with five easy tips to help you protect your information online.

1) Strong Passwords

One of the easiest ways to protect yourself online is to use strong passwords for your online accounts. Avoid passwords that include personal information, such as dates and names. Come up with a unique password that uses a mixture of letters and numbers. A good rule of thumb is to develop passwords that are between 8-15 characters and avoid words easily found in dictionaries.

2) Reliable, Updated Anti-Virus Software

The value of reliable and effective anti-virus software cannot be stressed too much. When searching for anti-virus software, do research on its effectiveness and its different features. Also important is to make sure that keep this software up to date. Good anti-virus software will regularly remind you to update your software.

3) 2-Step Verification

Although predominantly used by companies and businesses, more and more people are using 2-step verification to protect their personal email accounts. 2-step verification is a system whereby your email provider generates a unique password that will be sent to you via text or phone, and which can be used alongside your primary password. This means that whenever someone tries to access your account from a new computer or location, the user will be required to provide this secondary password. It’s a simple and extremely effective way to ensure the security of your email account.

4) Avoid Suspicious Emails

Although this seems obvious, it’s important to remain vigilant in regards to your incoming emails. While most email accounts will automatically send suspicious emails to your spam folder, phishing scams and virus-laden emails are still a danger. If you’re unsure about the safety of an email, scan it with your anti-virus first. This might save you a lot of trouble down the line.

5) Use the Best Browsers

It’s important to use a secure and fully updated browser for all your online activity. Keep abreast of the latest updates for your preferred browser and research the most secure and effective browsers available. Browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox, and the latest version of Internet Explorer are your best bet.