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Basic Knowledge of Online Safety and Security

Shopping, surfing, banking, and gaming are some of the many actions performed each minute in cyberspace. However, phishing attack, identity theft, bullying and location tracking are coming along with these common everyday activities. Among the unlimited cyber threats, how can we reduce the risk from these cyber threats without abandoning our online activities? Here are some tips for you to stay secure while online.

  • Set up alerts. Consider setting up alerts on your financial accounts. Many banks provide account activity notifications, which keeps you in control of your account activities. Whenever a transaction meets or exceeds a designated spending limit, a message will be sent by email or SMS to let you know the account activity. These types of alerts are useful as they make you aware of what is going on with your account more immediately compared to monthly statements. When you receive an alert about a transaction that you did not authorize, you can reach out to the bank immediately. Don’t be late! Log on your online bank account to set up alerts for your accounts.
  • Keep devices and apps up to date. This general tip is useful even if you are just casually surfing the Internet. Keeping your devices up to date (including apps and operating systems) ensures you have the latest security fixes.
  • Be cautious about public WiFi hot spots. Avoid performing financial or other sensitive transactions while connected to public WiFi hot spots.
  • Personal information is like money: value it and protect it. When making a purchase online, be alert to the kinds of information being collected to complete the transaction. Consider carefully whether it is necessary for the vendor to obtain such information. Remember that you only need to fill out the required fields at checkout.
  • Be vigilant. Be aware, there are many fake websites online trying to deceive valuable information from others. Make sure you are visiting a legitimate website by double-checking the URL website address to make sure it is spelled correctly. In addition, it is important to note that legitimate website usually has a padlock on the URL bar, and the URL will begin with “https://”.

As long as you keep the above security tips in mind, you can continue to stay online with peace of mind.