Computer Security | Information for Consumers
Scammers, hackers and identity thieves are trying to steal your personal information – and your money. But there are some steps you can take to protect yourself, such as keeping your computer software updated and giving your personal information only when you have a good reason to do so.
- Update your software
- Protect your personal information
- Protect your passwords
- Consider activating a double authentication system
- Transmit personal information only through encrypted websites
- Back up your files
Protect your passwords
Here are some ideas to create strong passwords and keep them safe:
- Use at least 10 characters; for the majority of the particular users the ideal thing is to create a password of 12 characters.
- Try not to create obvious passwords – do not use your name, date of birth or words of current use. Combine numbers, symbols and capital letters in the middle of the password, not at the beginning or end.
- Do not use the same password for multiple accounts. If your password is stolen – or if it is stolen from one of the companies with which you operate with a password – thieves could use it to try to access all your accounts.
- Do not share passwords by phone, text messages or email. Legitimate companies will not ask for your password.
- If you write down a password, keep it in a safe place out of sight of others.
Consider activating a double authentication system
To log in to an account enabled for the double authentication system, enter the password and other additional information. The second data could be a code sent to your phone or a random number generated by an application or by a security device or token. This protects your account even if your password has been compromised.
Transmit personal information only through encrypted websites. If you make purchases or bank transactions on the internet, simply use sites that use encryption to protect the information that travels from your computer to the site server. To determine if a website is encrypted, check if the web address starts with the letters https . That means it is a safe site.
Make backup copies of your files. There is no completely safe system. Copy your files to an external hard drive or in the cloud. If your computer suffers an attack from a malicious program, you can access its files.