Good Security Practices

You have now seen an overview of some of the more common threats to web users. Understanding these - but not obsessing about them - and maintaining good security practices on and offline, will help you to stay safe and help you to protect your website and your reputation from harm. 

Consider the following:

  1. If you don't have security software installed on your PC, install some now. There are some free applications available, but consider investing in a paid subscription to enable additional features including secure connections by Virtual Private Network (VPN), email scanning, identity protection and more. Make sure the software is kept up to date and run regular scans.
  2. Use STRONG passwords! These are demon to remember but they are harder to crack. Aim for at least ten characters. They should be a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. If you have difficulty remembering passwords, you might consider using a secure service such as Dashlane which can generate and store passwords for you. 
  3. NEVER SHARE a password or PIN. You will never be asked for these over the telephone or by email.  
  4. Beware of unsolicited emails. Avoid clicking web links in emails. Look for spelling mistakes and other oddities - maybe the web address is a character off what it should be, maybe the language used is unusual. If in doubt, dig out a bill or look up the public contact number of the organisation and ring them to confirm whether the email is legitimate. 
  5. Beware of strangers on social networks. Be cautious about what you share on your social media profiles - do you really need to have your full date of birth, telephone number and location listed? Be aware too that some of the advertising that is served to you on these platforms may not always be 100% trustworthy.  
  6. Be careful when downloading 'free' software. Check reviews and check the source you are downloading from is legitimate. Remember the risk of adware.
  7. Look at the website addresses you are visiting and check that they are secure - especially if inputting your card details! Look for a padlock or the word "secure" at the start of the address bar.  

Ultimately, there is only so much that any of us can do to keep safe online so use your common sense and take the advice given.