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What are the best ways to protect yourself online? In the age of easy-to-access social media, Wi-Fi everywhere you go and hundreds of “free” services on the internet, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re taking steps toward securing your data and identity online. Over the next couple minutes, I’m going to share with you 5 simple things you can and should do today to protect yourself on the internet. Thanks for joining me. My name is Josh. Today we’re looking at 5 things you can do right now to vastly increase your security and privacy online. Some of these might seem obvious but you’d be surprised at how flippant most people are about securing their most valuable asset: their identity. So let’s dive in. Number one: choose a great password. Not a good password, a great password. A great password uses capital letters, numbers, symbols and at least 8 characters. As an example, one of my favorite tricks is to use a short phrase or song to create a
password, such as, let’s say Itsy Bitsy Spider. In this case, I’ll exchange the letter I for an exclamation point and the letter s for the number 5, so it looks like this. The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout. It's easy for me to remember but impossible to guess and it uses capital letters, numbers and a symbol. You can also use password manager programs to provide secure passwords. Either way, choose a great password. Number two: keep all your software and apps up-to-date. I know it may seem annoying how often Microsoft, Google and Apple ask you to update software and apps, but there’s usually a very good reason. Many times, a security weakness has been found and they patch it up. By not upgrading, you’re leaving yourself unnecessarily vulnerable to a known security issue. Number three: use a VPN. Most people don’t realize that when they connect to a public Wi-fi network such as a coffee shop, an airport, a shopping center, etc., any data they transmit can be intercepted.
It’s surprisingly easy. The best way thing you can do is to encrypt your public network connections using a Virtual Private Network or "VPN". If you’re not sure what a VPN is, click up here to learn more. Personally, I never connect to public Wi-fi without encrypting my connection using a VPN. Never. Number four: check the privacy settings on all social media for you and your family. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, you name it, there are always little ways you can secure who can see what on your social media. Most of the time you’ll find this under “Privacy” or “Security” in the settings. Now mind you, even the strictest privacy settings can’t protect you from foolishly sharing too much information online. That’s on you. But you can and should control who can see your social media posts. Number five: monitor your bank accounts. It used to be that people would reconcile their accounts at the end of the month, a time during which errors and fraudulent charges could easily be spotted. Nowadays we have way too much faith and confidence in the security measures set up by banks and credit cards
and we rarely ever reconcile our accounts. Just last month I spotted three fraudulent charges on my wife’s credit card that weren’t caught by the card company. She hadn’t lost her card so we still have no idea how the thief got her information and if we had just set up automatic bill payment without checking the charges, we would have paid an extra couple hundred dollars that we didn't have to. Monitor your bank. They make mistakes, believe it or not, and their security measures aren’t perfect. Finally, and most importantly, number six. Use common sense. Don’t give out your social security number unless absolutely necessary, such as with banks or let’s say an apartment management company that need to run a background check on you. Set up a password to log in on all your devices including your iPhone or iPad. Set up two-factor authentication if it that’s an option. These are all small things, but they add up to become a stronger online defense for you and your family. Sure, it’s a priority for companies like Apple and Microsoft to keep you secure while
using their devices and their software. But in the end, your security and privacy online depends mostly on you. Don’t take that for granted, take steps to secure yourself today. Thanks for watching! We’ve got more great videos about security online that you can find here. And before you leave, don’t forget to give this video a thumbs up and I always welcome constructive feedback in the comments section below. Thanks and take care!
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