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How to Stay Safe Online

If there is one question we get asked more than any other, it’s this:  How can I stay safe online?

 

The digital world has opened the door for hackers, viruses, scammers, and more, and they would like nothing better than to strip your computer of your personal information, photos, files, and basically anything you might have on it.  This sounds scary, and it is – you should be nervous about having an unprotected computer!

 

Luckily, there are many ways to stay safe in the online world.  Here are a few of our best tips for keeping your computer safe:

 

Protect Your Computer with Antivirus

 

Antivirus protects your computer from the evil in the online community, so if you don’t have it already, you should seriously consider getting some now.

 

When you have an active antivirus program, it will scan your computer for malware, viruses, and even alert you to ways you can better protect yourself from tech invaders.  

 

Antivirus is your wall against the bad guys, and helps you stay safe against even the worst of malicious programs. The only issue with most anti-virus programs is that it’s very easy to go with the free option versus the paid options, and these will often only send you a notification once a virus is in your system.

 

Looking into downloading free antivirus services?  Here’s why a paid antivirus is better.

 

Tech Nav Security Antivirus is a great option as opposed to most paid antivirus services.  Not only are you still protected against the evil lurkers looking to pry into your system, but you’ll enjoy extra perks and, best of all, be able to talk to a real live human who can help you whenever you need the assistance!

 

Curious about Tech Nav Security Antivirus? Learn more right here.

 

While antivirus is your best protection against online evildoers, you still have to make your own efforts to ensure that you’re keeping your computer safe.  It’s the same reason we still lock our doors even though we have a police force – there are always new ways that bad people think up to do bad things.

 

Only Visit Trusted Sites

 

It’s easy to browse the web and click on link after link, especially when news sites, social media, or online shopping is involved.  It also only takes one link to land you on a shady website, one that is unprotected (yes, even websites have to have built-in protection) and may be serving as a gateway for viruses or hackers.

 

What you want to look for is located at the top of the page.  Check your URL bar (where you search for things and where the web address lives) and make sure that there is a lock symbol to the left of it.  If you click on the symbol, it will give you information about the site and confirm that the site is secure.

 

Unsure if a site is safe or not?  Hit the back button, and monitor your computer to make sure it doesn’t act differently after visiting the site.  If it does, you’ll want to have your computer checked to make sure it’s in the clear.

 

Always Use Diverse and Unique Passwords

 

Creating a unique password for every site you visit may seem daunting.  They can be hard to keep track of, and they’re only too easy to forget. In fact, we’re almost betting that if you’ve ever been asked to use a capital letter or symbol in your password, you just changed it from password123 to Password123!.

 

The issue here is that if a hacker learns the one password that you use everywhere, then they suddenly have access to EVERY site you’ve ever used that password at.  Now think about that – that means your social media accounts, shopping accounts, and maybe even your bank account are suddenly at risk.

 

Having a unique and different password for each of the sites you visit is the best way to keep your information secure.  Is it annoying? Yes. Is it the best way to practice online safety? Absolutely!

 

Before You Click on an Ad, Check It!

 

Did you see an ad for a product that seems to be priced at too-good-to-be-true dollars and 99 cents?  Don’t click it just yet!

 

Some ads will advertise amazing products at low prices and ask you to click for more information.  Some of these may be true-blue bargains, but some are scams that can infect your computer with a hard-to-shake virus.  Scammers are getting better and better, so to best ensure you’re not clicking a scammer ad, do a little research first.

 

The easiest way to do this is to first Google the company’s name and checking their official website.  Even if the website looks right, you’ll also want to look up reviews about them – some scammers are sharp and know what your first step to checking them will be, but you’ll be a giant step ahead if you do the double-check.  

 

If the company is good but the price still seems ridiculously low for the product, do a Google search on the product itself, and even do another one with the product’s name and the company’s name for good measure.  If that company is really having a sale that good, and their advertising it, chances are they’ll have that information readily available for you to find trough search.

 

Remember, it’s a wild online world, and you’re only safe if you watch your online interactions.

 

 

Do you have questions about online safety?  Give our Tech Nav techicians a call at 865-210-9555 and ask about our antivirus, virus scans, or online safety lessons!

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Clay Moore