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7 “harmless” habits threatening online safety

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Jenna Delport
Jenna Delport
I’m a tech writer, world traveller, avocado-eater and dog lover, not always in that order.

Everyone nowadays is connected to the Internet and has by now probably settled into some online routines: we all have such habits as checking our e-mails and social media pages first thing in the morning and consider these rituals healthy and harmless. However, some online habits can affect our whole life negatively, others only one aspect of it: online security.

Some online habits can affect our whole life negatively, others only one aspect of it: online security.

Kaspersky has identified some regular habits that can result in data leaks or infecting PCs with malware, and shares advice on each to consider:

  1. Downloading applications without a second thought. Sometimes we get so charmed by the range of apps we can download that we forget to look into what is behind the ‘I accept’ button. The problem is, a lot of permissions that we grant can seriously harm us – erase important meetings from the calendar, secretly record video or take photos at any moment, obtain an address book. Look into the conditions thoroughly.
  2. Walking away from the computer. Remember to lock your computer – and set it to require a password to get back in. Create a strong password and get into the habit of pressing Win-L (Windows) or Ctrl-Shift-Eject (Mac) when leaving your workstation for any period.
  3. Ignoring updates. Popular apps are constantly probed for weaknesses both by researchers and developers. Do not dismiss update notifications; doing so leaves your system at risk. Instead, install updates – your system will be much safer as a result.
  4. Multitasking. With so many on-screen distractions, multitaskers tend to pay less attention to what they click on and download. The multitasker is easy prey, more likely to be fooled by a phishing website, download malware masquerading as a legitimate programme. It is advisable to focus on one task and webpage or to maintain order in information flow.
  5. Clicking on a link because the title looks interesting. Such sites can be malicious. It is highly recommended to avoid webpages with such content or to use a reliable security solution.
  6. Registering on sites using social media logins. Using a social media account to sign in gives you rapid access to a site or app. However, it can help cybercriminals to access your pages.
  7. Registering on too many websites. Many people have more than two accounts on different webpages. Sometimes they do not even use or need them and do not remember passwords, yet those pages hold valuable information such as e-mail address, phone number, password, and other sensitive data. It is better to monitor and delete them regularly.

By Kaspersky

Edited by Jenna Cook

Follow Jenna Cook on Twitter

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