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The Top 5 Online Security Blunders

Heather Parry

By Heather Parry

04 May 2014

Web security is big business in 2014. Between the NSA revelations of last year, the ongoing trend of governments spying on their own people and security issues in the same vein as the shocking Heartbleed SSL bug earlier this month, online security is at the forefront of much of the world’s mind.

And yet, the vast majority of us still make schoolboy errors when it comes to our security online. Not only do we make it easy for hackers to access our personal data, we also take security risks with our online accounts and our personal information on the web.

Here are the top five web security errors that you shouldn’t be making – but probably are.

1) Leaving accounts signed in on public computers

This seems like it’s a no-brainer, but you’d be shocked how many people leave their online accounts signed in on computers at work, school, university and even in the Apple store – and we’re not just talking about Facebook and other social media accounts. Leaving your web banking signed in practically invites people to rinse your bank account off all the money it holds. Remember to sign out of every single thing if you use a public computer.

2) Using the same passwords for all your accounts

This is really due to our laziness, but so many of us use the exact same password for every single one of our online accounts, including our online banking and business email accounts. It’s not easy to memorize twenty different passwords, but it’s a lot easier than trying to recoup all your money when a hacker has realized “fido79” isn’t just the password to your Facebook account.

3) Using geotagging

You know how your friends pop up in certain locations on your Instagram or Facebook feeds? This is thanks to geotagging. Your phone knows your location and if you allow it to, it will display this information for others to see – and if you tag yourself as in a certain location, all and sundry will be able to know where you are at any one time. It should be quite obvious why this is a bad idea – and it’s not just because you might be at a bar when your boss thinks you’re in bed at home, “ill”.

4) Not locking your electronics

Your smartphone, your tablet and your laptop all have password and screen lock capabilities. Use them. If you need more convincing, consider how many accounts are open and linked to your financial information; from Etsy and Ebay to web banking and even Facebook. If someone steals your phone from your bag, there’s no telling how much of your money they can spend and how much of your information they can steal. Lock your electronics, and keep them locked.

5) Trusting wi-fi hotspots and unknown network connections

In our desperation for constant internet connection, we often place our trust (and our security) in the hands of café wi-fi connections, random networks and slightly-too-dodgy hotspots with names that are puns. We convince ourselves that these must be safe, but the sad truth of the matter is that they’re not. Public wifi security is a growing issue and the only real way to be secure on any network is to use a VPN, or Virtual Private Network. The SurfEasy VPN allows you to rest safe in the knowledge that your personal information and web browsing is totally secured and that you’re absolutely anonymous online.

Sign up for a free account with SurfEasy VPN today! Your security is our business.

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