Here are seven tips for guarding against cybercrime – and, hopefully, reducing your cyberanxiety.
Adopt smart practices regarding passwords. Rely on complex passwords with at least eight characters – incorporating uppercase letters, lowercase letters and symbols – rather than easy-to-crack passwords like “password123.” Also, store your passwords in secure places, such as a password manager app; don’t keep them on sticky notes stuck to your computer or desk.
Install and update antivirus software. Don’t ignore alerts that direct you to update the software; ensuring your software is the latest version available could thwart a cyberattack.
Enable two-factor authentication. With this tool, you’re required to provide two pieces of identifying information, such as a combination of a password and a fingerprint, to access an app or online account.
Update the operating systems on your electronic devices. These updates frequently include security improvements or fixes.
Trust your instincts. “If it looks dangerous or too good to be true, it probably is,” Neal O’Farrell, executive director of the Identity Theft Council, said.
Don’t click on a link in an email from a sender you don’t recognize. That link could be a scam designed to trick you into providing personal data.
Report internet scams or viruses. “This helps financial institutions understand what threats exist,” O’Farrell said, “and allows them to steer you away from any possible danger.”