“Let’s create a better internet together” is the theme of this year’s Safer Internet Day, which falls this year on 11 February.
We’re trying to do our part by sharing some of our favorite tips to stay safe and avoid troubles whether you connect to the internet through your PC, mobile and tablet. They’re short, sweet and easy to tweet and follow.
We’re also giving away a free one-year license for F-Secure SAFE – the best multi-device protection for a worry-free online life – on our Facebook page every day until the end of February. Read the rules of the giveaway before entering. You can try SAFE for free here.
Here are 21 ways to have a safer and less worrisome online life:
1. Keep your system, browsers, applications and security software patched and updated. Our free F-Secure Health Check makes this easy.
2. Lock your cell phone, tablet and PC when they’re not in use.
3. Use unique, complex passwords for all of your most important accounts. Our Key app makes that easy.
4. Keep your email inbox organized and spam free so you’ll recognize suspicious emails when you get them.
5. Use official app stores to find new software for your mobile devices.
6. Check the reviews on any app before you install.
7. Check your apps permissions to see what you’re sharing. Our free Permissions app for Android.
8. Remember there’s no such thing as “private” on a social network. Your friends can share whatever you post with the world.
9. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when connecting through an unsecured WiFi. Freedome, by F-Secure, gives your phone VPN protection.
10. Are you sharing your location without even realizing it? Your photos and your social media accounts may be announcing where you are to strangers. Check your settings.
11. Set up a separate, Java-free browser dedicated just to shopping and banking.
12. Always check your URLs in your browser window before filling out a form. You’re looking for a padlock and “https”, which means secured, and that you’re on the domain you meant to be on.
13. Don’t let your device connect to public WiFi spots automatically and delete old WiFi access points you’ve used when you arrive home.
14. Check the credit card you use for online purchases regularly for unusual activity.
15. When using a business’s WiFi network, check with the establishment you’re at to make sure the network you log onto is really theirs, and not one a snoop has set up to trick you.
16. When at an ATM or using your devices in public, be aware of your surroundings and anyone who could be trying to peek over your shoulder.
17. In many countries you can use a travel router with a prepaid SIM card for your own personal WiFi network.
18. Assume anything you do over public WiFi is part of a public conversation.
19. Put masking tape over your webcam when you’re not using it.
20. Don’t share crucial identification information – Social Security number, account information, Mother’s maiden name—with sites you don’t know.
21. If you have any questions about a strange email you’ve received from your bank or credit card company, contact the institution directly, preferably by phone.
Guest Blogger: F-Secure
We write about our real-life experiences and try to give you helpful tips on security issues whether it be safe online shopping, ensuring that you don’t lose precious digital photos or making sure your kids don’t get exposed to inappropriate content. We are F-Secure, a company with over 20 years experience in Internet security. Visit F-Secure’s Safe & Savvy blog.