Stay Safe Online

Stay Safe Online
The ITV news program, ITV Tonight have posted a great piece on ways to make sure you stay safe online and (hopefully) help ourselves to ensure we don’t become the victims of home hacking.

Follow these top tips to stay secure:

  • Make sure your passwords are complex.
    Avoid dictionary words which are easier for hackers to crack. Instead, use a mixture of upper and lower case letters, and numbers.
  • Make sure your passwords are long.
    For example, a password made of 8 random upper case letters (with no dictionary words) can be hacked in a matter of days using password-cracking computer programmes. But if you add just 2 extra characters, to make it 10 characters long, it will be 676 times harder to crack, taking a computer programme years instead of days to solve.
  • Avoid re-using the same password for different accounts or devices.
    If a hacker cracks one of your passwords, they can try the same password on other devices or online accounts. Keep your individual accounts/devices more secure by using a different password for each of them.
  • Always install updates.
    Companies sometimes release software updates to fix vulnerabilities, so you should always try to install updates as soon as they are available for any of your devices, apps or programmes. This includes ensuring that you have anti-virus software installed on your computer, and keeping it up to date.
  • Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request.
    Whether it comes as a text, a phone call, or an email, remember that fraudsters will often pose as a real person or organisation. Fraudsters can also use ransom threats, and apply pressure on you to act quickly. If you are concerned, stop and talk to someone you trust, or call the Action Fraud advice line.
  • Be careful when using public Wi-Fi and shared computers.
    Avoid connecting to unsecured public Wi-Fi networks. If you do use Wi-Fi on a shared network, avoid logging into emails/online banking etc.
  • If you think that you have been a victim of hacking or fraud, report it. Contact Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime.