Are your electronic devices safe from hackers, scammers, phishing and malware? The Gartner Group estimates that phishing scams alone cost consumers and businesses $2.8 billion dollars annually! Fortunately, there are simple ways you can protect yourself!
The Connecticut Better Business Bureau has several security tips for your computer and Smartphone! I've added a couple suggestions of my own as well!
Update your software. Your computer should have the latest anti-virus software installed, along with a secure firewall. You can find product reviews about anti-virus software in this terrific PC World article from January 2013.
Shop on trustworthy websites. Check a seller's reputation and customer satisfaction at bbb.org. Look for the “s” in https:// in the URL address box to ensure you’re shopping on a secure website.
Beware of phishing. Avoid clicking on links from emails sent from anyone you do not know, or if they appear suspicious.
Set strict privacy settings. Consider restricting access on social network profiles to only friends or family, or people you know. Avoid connecting with anyone on social networking sites who you are unfamiliar with.
Set strong passwords. Make sure all passwords, most importantly your passwords for online banking, social media and email accounts, are difficult to guess. Passwords should contain a combination of letters, numbers and punctuation marks. Change your passwords periodically.
Lock your phone. Add a security code to your phone to prevent thieves from accessing your data. Set your phone to lock automatically when not in use for a specified time.
Update your operating system. Regularly updating your phone closes security loopholes and helps stop hackers.
Beware of unknown apps and links. Do not download any apps or click on links in your email or social media pages without first researching the source. They may contain viruses, malware or spyware that can compromise your personal data.
Avoid unsecured Wi-Fi. If you choose to connect to an unsecured or public Wi-Fi network, do not enter passwords or access any personal data.
Treat your cell phone like your wallet. Do not hand your phone to a stranger who wants to borrow it to make a call. Do not leave your cell phone unattended.
Check your permissions. Check all of your apps to see what data they are accessing and revoke permissions for information those apps don’t need to properly operate.
Delete “smishing” texts. Like “phishing,” “smishing” schemers often pose as banks or lottery sweepstakes asking customers to contact them immediately. Do not reply and erase the message immediately.
Erase data from old phones completely. If you’re selling, donating or recycling your old phone, ensure all your data is completely erased and the phone is returned to factory settings.
As a Cheshire business owner, I am happy to share these important security tips with you! And when you have questions about buying or selling a home in Cheshire, CT, I will be here to help you! My team and I have the best in local market experience to help you succeed - contact us today!
Sally Bowman Real Estate
Your Cheshire Real Estate Expert
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