Online Computer Safety: 6 Tips

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Hackers, identity thieves and scammers are trying to swipe your personal information – and your cash.  But, there are measures you can take to protect yourself, such as making sure your computer software is up-to-date and only providing your personal information when there is a good reason.  Check out these six online computer safety tips:

1. Keep Your Software Updated

online computer safetyMake sure your software, including your apps, web browsers and your computer operating system are up to date to guard against the most recent threats.  Nearly all software automatically updates, so be certain to set yours up to do so.

Out-of-date software is far easier for crooks to hack into.  If you believe you have bad software or a virus in your computer, investigate how to discover and remove malware.

2. Guard Your Personal Information

Do not provide your personal information to just anybody.  Your utility and bank account numbers, credit card numbers and Social Security numbers could be used to create accounts in your name and swipe your money.  So, when your personal information is requested, whether it’s a phone message, text, email or web form, think hard about why somebody requires it and if you really can trust their request.

When trying to swipe your information, crooks will say and do anything they can to look credible.  Educate yourself about crooks who are phishing for your personal information.

3. Safeguard Your Passwords

online computer safetyHere are some tips for generating strong passwords and keeping them secure:

  • Use a minimum of 10 characters; 12 is even better for nearly all home users.
  • Be unpredictable.  Do not use common words, dates or names.  Mix it up with capital letters, symbols and numbers in the center of the password, not at the start or end.
  • Do not  use the identical password for numerous accounts.  If your password is stolen either from you or a company you do business with, crooks could use it to misappropriate all your accounts.
  • Never share your passwords via email, text or phone.  Legit businesses will never request your password.
  • If your password is written down, be certain to lock it up and keep it out of plain view.

4. Turn On Two-Step Verification

For accounts that have it, two-step verification asks not only for your password but a second piece of information to access your account.  The additional information may be an arbitrary number created by an app, a token or a code sent to your cell phone.  This safeguards your account even if your password is jeopardized.

5. Encrypted Websites

online computer safetyIf you are doing your banking or shopping online, only use sites that are encrypted to guard your information as it transmits between your computer and their server.  To find out if a website is encrypted, search for “https” at the start of the web address.  This indicates that the site is protected.

6. File Backup

No system is absolutely protected.  Copy your files to the cloud for storage or to an external hard drive.  Should your computer come under attack by malware, you will still be able to access your files.


Check out this video for further information:



Bottom Line

I hope these six tips for online computer safety will help keep you safe.  Remember, slow down and think before you provide any personal information.

Do you have any other online computer safety tips?  I’d love for you to share your information.  Please do so by leaving your comments below.


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  1. Mallory

    Thank you for this! I am always so nervous putting my information online even if it is a secure site. These tips are definitely helpful to myself and I am sure other people will feel the same way! I didn’t realize that by not updating your computer it puts it at risk. I am such a procrastinator when it comes to updating my computer because I hate waiting – which is silly because I could literally just have it go overnight! Making sure I keep it updated from now on!

    • Barb

      Hi, Mallory!  Thanks for dropping by and sharing.  I love hearing from my readers.

      Yes, by not updating your security/anti-virus software you are leaving your computer vulnerable to hackers.  New threats are popping up all the time and, if your computer isn’t up to date, hackers can get into your computer and cause havoc.  Most security/anti-virus software can be set up to automatically update and scan your computer.  You just have to set and forget.


  2. Jimmy

    Very useful information you pointed out. Information most people see no meaning to but it’s good you brought it to our attention again.

    Personally, I try to update all my software so as to have an up to date version for better efficiency but I didn’t know it could prevent against hackers as well.
    Thanks, for this.


    • Barb

      Hi, Jimmy!  Thanks for dropping by and sharing.  I love hearing from my readers.

      I’m glad you found the information useful.  Yes, if your security software is not up to date, you are definitely leaving yourself vulnerable to hackers because there are new threats popping up by the hour leaving you unprotected. 


  3. Joey

    This is great advice. I used to keep all my passwords the same for ease of memory but then realized how unsafe that is. Scammers will try all types of “phishing” type scams to get your personal information. Do you think it’s safe to keep your passwords in one of those password manager apps?

    • Barb

      Hi, Joey!  Thanks for dropping by and sharing.  I love to hear from my readers.

      I’m glad you realized how unsafe it is to keep the same password for multiple accounts.  I know it’s easier, but the cost for simplicity can be expensive when you wind up getting hacked.

      I really don’t like password manager apps because they can be hacked just as easily.  And, I definitely would not use your browser’s password manager either.  I would only trust your anti-virus software’s password manager.

      I hope this helps.


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