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Hacking, viruses, scams and cyber bullying are some of the most known risks. If we want to avoid them, it is important that we learn to protect ourselves from all of them.

1. Do not run suspicious files

The need to have an individual application on our computer causes us to be unaware of whether the file we have downloaded is reliable or not. Remember that many of the viruses that are propagated infect executables (extension .exe, .com, .bat, etc.).

To avoid any risk, try to download the programs only from official websites. On my iMac, I only allow files and applications from the App Store and identified developers. If you want to enhance security, I encourage you to analyse all files with an antivirus before running them.

Security & Privacy Settings Mac OSX

2. Avoid public Wi-Fi networks

Not everyone is connected to the Internet at home, and public Wi-Fi networks are their only option to be able to connect. However, someone who is ‘logged in’ to the same wifi that you are using has the potential to be able to spy on you.

What should you be careful about?

With registering on unencrypted websites, by doing so the potentially providing an opportunity for the nefarious to gain access to your username and password with ease. If also, these keys coincide with the same ones from another website where you have provided personal information, such as bank details, you will get an unpleasant surprise at the reduction in your bank balance.

3. Uses secure passwords

Remembering a password can be difficult, especially if we are on various social networks or websites. In spite of this, it is necessary that you do not consider the idea of using your date of birth, or anniversary as possible options. If someone wants to steal the passwords, you will be making it very easy.

What is the solution? Put passwords that combine capital letters, numbers and letters, and at least 8 characters. There are many services on the Internet that force you to put a password of these characteristics to prevent other people from usurping your account. I like to keep it simple and use the Keychain Application on my Mac.

Keychain application on Mac

4. Beware of unsecured websites

There are many malicious websites that pretend to be something they are not namely secure. The Russian hacking This type of scam is called “phishing” and will prompt you for information such as your username and password.

Be careful with this, they are trying to steal from you.

How can you identify that the website is secure so that you can safely provide your private information? The truth is that it is very simple. Simple, before transferring any personal data, ensure that you have an SSL encryption certificate and that the address begins with “https: //”. That “s” indicates that the transmission of information is secure. Have you ever seen a closed padlock on the top right or left of the browser? That means that the website has a security certificate through which you can send personal information without fear for your cyber security.

URL for NAB – SSL Encrytion

5. Do not accept invitations

The risks are not only found when surfing the Internet but also when we accept invitations. It is risky to dare to say only that you do not accept requests from strangers because sometimes a virus is transmitted between known people without realising it. If using instant messaging, email or social networks you receive some proposal to access some web page or unusual link, be careful.

Russian hackers were able to access thousands of emails from a top-ranking Democrats using a phishing scam.  In an e-mail, for example, messages are used that offer jobs with which to earn significant amounts of money. However, to opt in for the position, you must access a web page or respond to the message by providing your name, your address and possibly your bank account. Whenever you are asked to reveal data such as the personal details or bank accounts consider it suspicious and make sure you verify that it is safe to avoid surprises.

Be Vigilant. Surfing the Internet is not as safe as it sounds. So protect your data as much as you can, because we are much more vulnerable than we think.

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