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17 June 2021
Hyperoptic Team

Top internet security tips to keep your data safe

Dodgy links, suspicious cookies, outdated software, there are lots of ways you could be at risk online. And the chances of you falling victim to viruses and phishing scams are only increasing.  

To help make you more secure online, we’ve answered a few of the most asked questions and shared our top internet security tips and tricks. So, check them out and start putting them into practice… like, as soon as you finish reading this blog. 

How to secure your internet router

These days, you can usually trust your router to be pretty secure. However, it’s important to take extra precautions so that hackers (or even neighbours) can’t compromise your wifi and access the computers, phones and other smart home devices connected to it. 

Here are some things you can do to secure your internet router: 

  • Change the passwords frequently. 
  • Use a guest network for visitors so they can’t access any of your devices or accidentally change settings. 
  • Disable remote access and Wifi Protected Setup if it’s not essential to you

What does antivirus software do?

Antivirus software is your first port of call when it comes to internet security. It regularly checks and removes any viruses or malware that’s managed to sneak onto your computer. This prevents them from deleting, blocking, or erasing your data. 

Free antivirus software is widely available and usually has everything you need to stay safe online. So, you have no excuse – go get antivirus!  

Why use a VPN?

You should always use a VPN (virtual private network) when you connect to a public wifi hotspot. It essentially keeps your browsing anonymous and protects your online activities – whether that’s confidential emails or online shopping. 

If you’re looking to use a VPN for the above reason only, then a free VPN service should have you covered, but feel free to check the premium options.  

The best rule for passwords

You’ve probably heard this particular internet security tip time and time again, but if you still aren’t using unique, strong passwords for every login, then you’re not secure.  

“But how am I supposed to keep track of all those passwords”, you say? Well, that’s where a password management tool comes in (and no, we’re not talking about the weak ones built into your browser).  

These dedicated password managers will store all your unique passwords, emails and usernames in an encrypted form so that you don’t need to remember and type them out individually every time. Instead, you just type your master password into the password manager, and it will automatically fill out all of your login information when you visit any website. 

Password managers even help you generate secure, random passwords and can be accessed across different devices. 

Use two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a great way of protecting yourself against hackers who may gain your passwords and login details, say, through a data breach.  

You can switch it on for most websites in the security settings. Once it’s activated, you will receive a code via text, or a notification on an app, every time you log in from a new device. If you want to be extra secure, you can even set it to check with you anytime you log in full stop, regardless of the device. 

How to spot phishing emails and texts

Scammers are getting sneakier by the day and are always coming up with new ways to tempt us into giving over our details or clicking dodgy links. However, there are a few things you can do to avoid falling into their trap: 

  • Look out for poor spelling and grammar. 
  • Check links to see if they match the destination described in the email (hover with your mouse on the computer or hold down on mobile). 
  • Don’t just check the sender name, see if the email address looks odd. 
  • Never give sensitive info via email or text, real companies won’t ask you to do this. 
  • Never click links or attachments unless you 100% trust the sender and were expecting them. Even then, check all of the above first. 

Clear your cache

Are you one of those people who clicks ‘accept all cookies’ on every site you visit? Don’t be ashamed, it happens to the best of us. But either way, any saved cookies and even your browsing history could be holding important personal information that hackers can use to their advantage. To be on the safe side, it’s best to regularly clear your cache by going to your browser’s privacy and security section.  

Check your social media privacy settings

Other than regularly changing your passwords, the rule of thumb with social media is to only share the bare minimum. You don’t want to give anything away that hackers may be able to use to access your accounts. Better yet, check your privacy settings on all your socials and make sure only your friends can see your posts, and allow no one to share them.  

Keep devices and software updated

You might want to think twice before hitting ‘remind me later’ on your next update. Yes, they can be annoying and pop up at the worst possible times, but hackers prey on the weaknesses that come with unpatched, older operating systems and outdated software. It’s best to always keep everything up to date!  

Back up your data

Even if you follow all of these internet security tips, there’s always a chance of a sneaky hacker getting in or a virus encrypting and erasing your data. In which case, you may be forced to wipe your computer completely.  

So, to avoid losing absolutely everything, make sure to regularly back up all of your data to an external hard drive or cloud-based storage system. It may seem like a hassle at the time, but you’ll thank us later! 

You’re in safe hands with hyperfast broadband

Want broadband you can rely on? With hyperfast full fibre, you can stream, browse, download and game without interruption or any data limits! Plus, there’s no sneaky fees – we’re good like that. Check out our packages

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