It’s November again. Cyber Security Awareness month (October) just passed but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have to keep practicing all the online safety tips we learned; quite the opposite actually, now that we have gotten more informed about online security, we must implement those tips daily and share our knowledge with everyone that surrounds us.
This year is coming to an end, yet new security exploits show up every day to attack the cyberspace. Holidays are coming, and NOW is as good a time as ever to learn/review security tips regarding where we “click”. Even the most security savvy are prompt to distractedly click here or there and fall for a scam before even realizing it. During this month, we will be sharing tips through all of our social media gadgets, to properly prepare you to enter the Internet battlefield, a place full of web links, attachments, and tricky “click-here’s”.
The amount of people who go online everyday only gets bigger and bigger, and so does the time they stay online. Phishing attacks and identity theft attempts are a threat to us most of the time we are navigating through the cyberspace, which is why we should stay protected always, and since the internet is a shared resource, our duty is also to create awareness and make sure others stay secure as well.
From malicious links send through email, to suspicious attachments and even “x” (cancel) buttons in ads and popups, the possibility to fall for an attack is just one click away. And the best way to protect yourself is being vigilant where you navigate, and take every precaution possible.
This month we also have Computer Security Day (Nov. 30th). This is a great month to remind you to keep your computer and information safe. Learn how in our Securing Your Computer section.
Tips to help you identify when not to click:
- Don’t simply trust information from sources you don’t know. If you have to click a link, cut and paste the information into the browser to make sure it’s a legit site.
- Make sure you know where short links are taking you to. A good way to find out is by copying and pasting them into a "link expander" such as KnowURL.com or LongURL.org
- Before clicking on links on emails, especially if you don’t know the source, rest your mouse (without clicking) on the link and make sure the address is the same one typed in the email.
- Try to always investigate the source of a link before clicking it. Don’t trust what comes to you from strangers.
- Beware of scammers in popular websites. In some sites like Pinterest, you might click on someone’s board and realize that it takes you to a complete different address than what the pin was about. Be cautious when clicking on other people’s content.
- Be careful with websites that demand you to download a video codec or software to view something. It will most likely lead you to download malware.
- Read before you click. If you don’t find the terms and conditions worth reading, then don’t put your security at risk agreeing with them.
- We recommend you enable site checking and add an anti-phishing toolbar to your browser. These last ones help detect and may block known phishing sites.
- Just because a friend posts or "likes" a shared link it doesn’t mean that it is safe to access, hackers often disguise links as interesting content to get to you, but this malware will likely affect your computer or mobile device in many of harmful ways.
- We often ignore pop ups reminding us to update our computer security software. In this case, DO click, as soon as you can. An important part of staying safe is keeping them up to date.
The online shopping boom aroused by Black Friday also makes this month appropriate to share security tips so you can protect yourself from false special sales and ads that try to trick you into believing that they are leading you to get a great deal. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Listen to your instincts!
Check our Online Shopping tips and follow us on all of our social media gadgets for daily tips and information.