Safer Internet Day

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Normally my “weird holiday” posts are silly and fun, but today we are taking on a serious topic.  Today is Safer Internet Day.

We’ve all heard the horror stories of people who have been recorded without permission via webcams, folks who have been swindled out of huge sums of money by internet scammers and companies who have had huge data breaches.  Many of us know someone who clicked on a bad link or email and had to spend serious time and / or money to fix the ensuing mess.  This is a big deal.

So, short of going completely off the grid how do you protect yourself?   Here are a few simple things you can do to keep yourself safe:

#1 Make sure you have strong passwords, change them frequently, and don’t use the same password on every site.

#2 Limit what you share on social media.  If everyone knows your mother’s maiden name, your last 5 addresses, where you bank, the middle names of your siblings, your blood type, etc. how easy it is for someone to use that to impersonate you?

#3 Use common sense.   Don’t open attachments from people you don’t know or that you were not expecting.  Don’t click on links that you cannot verify or that come from unknown sources.

#4 Make sure your antivirus and anti malware programs are up to date.  Yes, these programs tend to ask to be updated a lot.  That’s because there are new threats out there every hour.  Do not put this off.  The kitten videos will still be there in 15 minutes.

Finally, I did want to mention that I do invest in software to make sure Knotty Things is a safe site for you to visit.   I generally only post links to previous posts of my own, but on the rare occasion I do post an outside link it will be to a safe site as well.  In addition, I have not, and will never, have ads on my site.

Be safe out there!

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