Vintage Cooperatives

Keys to Internet Security

Shona Schmall - Friday, March 31, 2017

These days, it seems like the Internet is constantly finding more and more ways to make our lives easier. Through new technology, monthly subscriptions, and data gathering, the Internet is able to learn about us and make our daily lives smoother and more efficient. But as we give information and the Internet learns about us, how can we assure that our personal information is safe? In addition to the many protections that online platforms have in their software, there are simple things you can do to keep yourself safe.

The first place to be intentional is when creating passwords. Many users are accustomed to creating passwords based on their birthday or name, but those are not hard for people to hack into. Using special characters, numbers, and a mix of lowercase/uppercase letters is a great way to ensure that your password is safer. The more random and unique your password is, the better. Additionally, having the same password on all your profiles is easy for you, but it also makes them all less secure. Multiple passwords is better, and when it gets tough to keep track, consider using a service like LastPass to hold them all in one place.

You also need to be careful when shopping online, especially when exchanging credit card information. There are a few ways to check if a website is a secure place to put your info. Look to the URL of the page. If it begins with “https” then it is secure (sometimes accompanied with a padlock icon on browsers like Chrome). Most online shopping sites will include a message stating that the site is secure and that they will not share your information. If a site lacks a message like that, it could be cause for concern in putting your information there.

Emailing can also become a dangerous form of communication if you are not careful. Think about this: every time you email somebody, that means the content of your email will be on their internet server and wi-fi network as well. This is no reason to be afraid of email entirely though! Simply take the time to be sure you are not sending private information over email. Passwords and financial information are examples of things that are better shared in person than email. Like mentioned above, LastPass is a great online service that can help share passwords and similar information securely.

Following this advice will help you use the Internet safely and without fear of losing your information. As the Internet continues to develop, it will be key to keep these tips in mind.

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