The Basics are Important
Make sure that you have an up to date version of your operating system and internet browser. An up to date version of an antivirus program is also critical. These are things that a surprising amount of people fail to do. These days you can alter the settings on a lot of software so they update automatically, but you may have to do some things manually.
There are a number of things you can do to make your passwords as strong as possible. The first is to try and have a different password for all of your accounts and logins, and use a combination of upper and lower case, numbers and letters.
You can find programs that can help you master your passwords and my favorite of course if LastPass. I have talked about this application many times and you can learn more here.
Too many people act like children in the proverbial candy store when they are online, clicking on any link they see, adding anyone that asks and giving away personal information at the drop of a hat. These are all mistakes and will eventually lead to digital trouble.
An important aspect of online security is adopting an attitude of suspecting everyone and anyone, especially with regards to opening emails and clicking on links. MacAfee SiteAdvisor is a great tool to show you when you are venturing off the beaten track and into potentially dangerous online territory.
Keep Your Personal Life Personal
This applies to everything you do, but especially social networking sites. Although it might appear that you are surrounded by friends and acquaintances on sites like Facebook, the reality is that you are one node in a very large network system that is accessed and used by millions of people every day.
Never list your address, phone number or email account on these sites and try not to give away too many personal details about where you work or when you are going out of town.
You wouldn’t walk down the street giving your phone number or address to anyone that asked you for it, so do not do it on the internet.
Beware of Public Hotspots
You should never access documents with sensitive information or your online banking on a public network or hot-spot. These public networks are at risk of being hacked or monitored by very bad people. Also look at the lawsuits brought against Google for sucking up people’s personal information to see how simple getting information from these networks about you can be.