Internet safety tips provided by Google

GoogleApps_Feb19_AThe Internet is still in its infancy. While it is a deeply ingrained aspect of almost every part of life, it still is a bit like the Wild West, in that it can often be unsafe. One way to make it more secure is by increasing user awareness. That’s why on February 5 the Safer Internet Day was held. Google got into the action by releasing some interesting security tips all users should follow.

Here’s are five tips Google recommends:

1. Use a good password
Your password serves a dual purpose, it identifies you and also allows access to your information, websites, etc. If you have a weak password, or use the same one across different accounts, you are at a higher risk of being hacked. Google recommends that you use an unique password that’s long and contains numbers, symbols and letters.

The main idea here is to use unique passwords. You shouldn’t be using the same password for your work computer/accounts for online banking or personal accounts. This advice doesn’t just pertain to you, as your company’s systems should also have strong, unique passwords. If you don’t adopt this advice, the chances of someone being able to hack into different systems once they have one password increases.

2. Practice password common sense
Having a strong password isn’t enough, you also need to take steps to protect it. You should never send your password over email or share it with others if it can be helped. If you receive emails from your bank, service companies, friends, etc. asking you for your password, they are likely phishing emails, and should be deleted.

It would also be beneficial to change your passwords on a regular basis. There is no set limit, but once a year at the very least is a good idea. If you have trouble remembering long passwords, Google suggests that, “Writing down your passwords isn’t necessarily a bad idea. But if you do this, don’t leave notes with your passwords in plain sight, on your computer or desk.”

3. Monitor security settings
Almost every website that you have an account with, Google included, upgrades their security policies on a regular basis. This means that your security settings could change, or more powerful settings could be introduced without you being notified. Therefore, you should periodically review your security settings to see what, if anything has changed, and to update them if new settings are introduced.

4. Be socially responsible
When it comes to online presence, nothing is more powerful for a company’s brand than social media. While a great tool, it’s all too easy to post something inflammatory, offensive or inappropriate, which could negatively impact your business. Before you post something on either your business or personal site, be sure to look over it and ensure it isn’t embarrassing or harmful to your business reputation.

5. Log off/lock it
It’s advisable to either turn your computer off after you’re done using it, or at the very least log off. This will prevent unauthorized users from being able to gain access. If you use a mobile phone and are constantly signed in to different services/apps, it’s a good idea to set your phone to lock itself after a certain period of time. This can be done by going into the security settings on your phone.

These are just five recommended tips from Google’s security experts which are well worth taking note of if you want to ensure you and your company’s data is safe. If you would like to learn more about how you can make the Internet safer, please contact us today.

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