Being safe online isn’t as simple as it once was. Hackers are more sophisticated, and even the large organisations and banks here in Kenya are vulnerable to having their systems compromised. So how can you protect yourself?
Here are 5 simple ways to ensure that you stay safe online.
1. Creating strong passwords (and changing them often)
The days of using your birthday, 012345678 or favorite football team as passwords are long gone. Go for one with at least a capital letter, mix it up with random alphanumeric characters, the odd @ or $ and opt for a sequence at least twelve characters long.
If you need help in figuring out where to start, you can get ideas from //passwordsgenerator.net/
Also, keep your password safe and never tell it to anyone. Never write down passwords or ATM pins anywhere, it is best to keep them memorized.
2. Avoid using public Wi-fi
We all love the idea of not using our data especially when there’s free WiFi, but this is a hackers happy place. Here’s an article explaining why you should be wary of public Wi-Fi especially if you’re logging in to social media sites, or worse, shopping online
3. Speaking of shopping online
Don’t make it a habit to save your credit or debit card information on online shopping sites.
Many shopping sites let you save your credit card information in your online account. This setup makes it easier to make purchases in the future, as your billing and shipping addresses and credit card information are stored. However, if you can access this information, so can hackers. Rather than store your credit cards and addresses in your accounts, spend the extra minute to enter your information each time you make a purchase.
4. Multi factor authentication
This mainly became popular after all the phishing that came about with Gmail. Multi factor authentication sign-ins are now more popular with almost all sites you come across including Twitter and Instagram where there’s an extra layer of security when you login. This is usually done by a code that’s sent to your phone number when you attempt to login to your account.
Since most sites are opting for this, always make sure you opt in.
5. Back up your data
As much as we can do everything right when it comes to being safe, no one can predict when stuff like your computer crashing happens. Always make sure you back up your data on external hard drives or you can look into apps like MEGA