5 Super-Easy Tech Tips To Start the Year Off Safer

Does the thought of becoming safer online seem as enticing as getting a jump on your taxes? You’re not alone! Even us frogs don’t like to slow down. So here are five super (and we mean SUPER) easy things you can do to protect yourself online while barely breaking your stride:
Tip 1: Disconnect from the Internet when you’re not using it. It’s like closing the door when you leave your house or pushing your chair in when you leave the table. It’s an easy habit to get into and it gives you an extra layer of protection during all those hours you’re not at your computer.
Tip 2: Decide once and for all which ONE credit card you’ll use online. You’ll limit your risk and if something goes wrong, it’s much easier to track and solve. But do NOT use your debit card because it allows direct access to your cash — which could create bounced check hassles — and it’s often linked to other accounts. PayPal is a fast and safe option, just watch out for PayPal email spoofs and potential complications if there’s a dispute.
Tip 3: Tighten up your social media privacy settings. Stranger danger! It’s not just for kids. As innocuous as your status updates on Facebook and other social media platforms might seem, your profile page contains bits of information that hackers can use to get into your accounts. “Public” or “Friends of Friends” settings can make you an easy target.
Tip 4: Update your anti-virus and firewall software. Just point and click to get patches for nasty new viruses and other malware. How easy is that?
Tip 5: Change your password the next time you access each of your accounts. The last thing you want to do is make hacking into your accounts easy for the people who do it for a living! You’ve heard the advice about passwords a million times because it’s really that important. Worried you won’t remember your new passwords? Use the first letter of each word in a memorable sentence. Don’t want to bother with that? Use an online password generator, or other simple solutions.