Ahead of this Saturday’s National Data Privacy Day AT&T, the American telecoms giant, have put together some tips for staying safe when on the web using various devices. Aimed at everyone it is particularly helpful to parents wanting to set up youngsters with their first smartphone or computer, and shares information that should be useful to all:
The information is part of AT&T’s FREE Digital You initiative, which was set up to provide free advice for the public as we try to safely navigate a digital world as it becomes more powerful and mobile. This includes parents who want to safely introduce their child to the internet, and consumers who use their mobile device to pay bills or take photos; Digital You was created with Common Sense Media to help with privacy, safety and security online.
1. Use those privacy settings. At home, use the privacy settings on your computer. Set a username and password needed to unlock your computer, check your firewall status, and other filters that may be available to block pop-ups or other content that could harm your computer. Explain their use to anyone who is authorized to use your home computer.
2. Use strong, unique passwords, and change them regularly. Your accounts are safer with strong passwords and passphrases guarding the door. Use long passwords that you can remember. When possible, passwords should include numbers, symbols, and a variety of upper and lower case characters.
3. Careful what you share. Bad guys can use your social media posts to get clues that can help them guess your passwords or answers to security questions. Think before you post information about where you live, family or pet names, or other identifying information on social media.
4. Careful what you click. Most people get infected when they click on a dangerous link or infected email attachment. If you’re suspicious about an email or a link on the web, don’t click.
5. Protect yourself in the cloud. It’s rare, but digital file stores can be compromised by outsiders. If you’re uploading important personal information to cloud file servers, encrypt it before you upload. Many applications offer encryption features to help keep your information protected. Check out the tools and settings of the application you are using to see if this is an option. There are also a number of easy-to-use encryption software services for download that can help you encrypt information before uploading it.