Have you just bought yourself an brand new shiny computer, but don’t know what to do with your old slow clapped out doorstop of a computer? When it comes to disposing of an old computer there are some safeguards you need to consider.
Mobile and internet banking
We all access our bank accounts more and more from computers and mobile devices. Without proper security measures mobile and internet banking can leave you open to attack. Follow these simple steps to ensure that you are safe when you view your bank from mobile and internet devices.
This is a simple one and will help ensure that not only your bank is safe, but everything you hold dear on your computer or mobile. Do not open emails if you don’t know who they are from.
Also, be very careful about emails that say they are from your bank, if they ask you to click on a link or to enter information about your bank account DON’T! Always call your bank to confirm that the email was really from them.
Emails are the most common way that thieves use to access your bank details.
Bank Account Password
Make a very strong password. A very strong password will be at least 12 characters in length, it will be random characters made up of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Do not use dictionary words, names or foreign words. Thieves use very clever programs that can crack passwords made of words, names, foreign words or even substitution words (words that use numbers to replace letters such as 45k instead of Ask).
Do not write your password down and never share your password with anyone. Unfortunately you should only remember your password without writing it anywhere. Of course, it is hard for most of us to remember our passwords so here is a tip: come up with a phrase that is unique to you, it could be anything but should be something that would be difficult to know about you. As an example lets pretend that my mothers maiden name was Smith and she was born in Glasgow. You could come up with a phrase My mother was born in Glasgow in January her name was Smith. Already you have the makings of a good password, take the first letter from each word and you arrive at MmwbiGiJhnwS now add a random number and character, you could arrive at MmwbiGiJhnwS use this only for your bank account don’t share it with other sites (please don’t use this password as, potentially, a lot of people will read it).
You could use the same method for all other sites, but add 2 letters at the front to represent the name of the site (using the above example for Google goMmwbiGiJhnwS) then simply use a different set of initial letters for every site, that way you use a password you can remember easily – you will only need to remember 2 letters for each site – make them obvious and it will be easy.
OK I know I am going to upset a lot of people, but free anti-virus programs aren’t really up to the job on their own.
To make things easier, I would strongly urge you to buy one of the top Internet Security Suites, you could use http://internet-security-suite-review.toptenreviews.com/ to help you decide.
On top of this I would also recommend using tools such as Malwarebytes and Hitman Pro. (Hitman pro will scan your computer at start up to make sure there aren’t any nasties hiding away, it is very good at doing this as the actual scanning is done in the Cloud, viruses will always attempt to attack your antivirus suite and, if successful, stop it working. Hitman pro, being cloud based isn’t vulnerable to these attacks. Malwarebytes is a good “belt-and-braces” check that you can perform weekly or monthly depending on how often you use your computer).
For mobile devices, Avast, Bitdefender and others have excellent mobile security suites.
Know what you are downloading
It is very tempting to download files from the internet, but this is an excellent way for viruses to come into your system. Make sure that you only download from reputable protected sites.
Also, if a friend has sent you something, call them to check that they really did intend to send it – it may be a virus from their computer attaching itself to emails.
Use a strong password for your mobile
Your mobile device is probably more at risk than your computer from people trying to gain access to it. Modern mobile devices make it easy to secure by adding a password, make use of this feature, then if someone gets hold of your mobile device they can’t access all the private files, emails, contacts and bank accounts stored.
Check your bank account regularly
A quick daily check of your bank account will alert you early if there has been theft from your bank, you can ask the bank to stop your card and access to your bank immediately, preventing further theft.
Never check your bank from a public computer (such as the library and/or cyber cafe) and always be sure who is around you when accessing your bank account in public.
Always keep your mobile device and computer up to date with the latest patches – often these patches are to address a security issue, so it is vital to update.
When buying from any internet site, ensure that HTTPS is showing in the address for any pages you are adding personal information (you should see the little lock symbol whenever you use a secure site).
Get into the habit of logging off from the account before you leave the bank’s website when using mobile and internet banking!