All I Want is Some (Online) Security in My Life! Tips for Surfing Securely

Okay, collegiettes. We need to talk about something important you’ve probably been ignoring all these years: your online security. As tedious as it may initially sound, getting squared away with your online security is absolutely crucial in our technology-infused world, and as new ways of using the internet emerge every day (new social networks, new mobile banking apps, etc.), the need to keep your identity and data protected has never been more important. So keep the following basic tenets of security in mind; sticking by each one will take you far in getting that life of (online) security you now know you need!

Choosing a Strong Password

Back in the day, passwords used to give us such an easy time. But recently, as technologies have grown up, so have passwords. Gradually, as we sign up for more services and get asked to change our passwords, we’re being required to come up with complicated passwords with numbers, symbols, and different case letters. When coming up with numbers in particular, it’s so tempting to use a familiar number, like your zip code or birthday. Don’t do it! Numbers easily associated with you would be the first ones a hacker would try to use to break your password. Learn more about do’s and don’ts of password creation, here!

Protect Your Data in the Cloud

Sometimes, hackers aren’t the ones stealing our data. How about your laptop that abruptly decides to die on you a week before your final exam?! Avoid the disastrous consequences of this nightmare by keeping your data backed up. An external hard drive can be cumbersome to back up to, what with all its cords and the use of your USB drive (come on, we live in a hands-free world now), not to mention expensive and prone to failure itself. So opt instead for free (or really cheap) services like Dropbox, Microsoft SkyDrive, or Google Drive that keep your data not only backed up on the internet, but also accessible from any number of devices that can sync straight from your cloud storage.

 

This awful scenario actually happened to my work computer last year, which inexplicably failed to turn on one day. Though I lost a couple old files that I had been too lazy to back up (a sad lesson learned), all of my important work files were waiting for me in my Dropbox and as soon as I replaced my device, there they all were, as good as before. Disaster averted.

Stay Savvy When it Comes to Social Media Links

Probably one of the scariest, most annoying, and most embarrassing security faux pas you can commit is clicking the seemingly legitimate link your friend “sent” to you over a DM on Twitter or a Facebook post on your wall. Before clicking anything with an enticing line like “What are you doing in this picture!?”, do a quick search for the phrase to check it’s not indicative of a phishing attack. These complex attacks take advantage of the victim’s address book or friend list to send out malicious content that appear to have been voluntarily sent from the victim. Thus, a phishing attack spreads wider and wider, infecting a growing circle of people with anything from spammy links to malware, and also collecting personal information in the process. So stay savvy and, in some cases, skeptical. We’re not in Kansas anymore when it comes to online security.

For more tips about keeping your devices and data secure, hop on over to Intel’s Mobile Security hub!

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