how to avoid scams

We are living in a digital age where everything we do is either on a computer, tablet, or cellphone. Technology is rapidly advancing and security breaches and hacking are more common than ever.

So how can you protect yourself? Here are just a few examples on how you can keep your electronic footprint safer:

Keep your programs and system software updated and make sure you have secure antivirus software installed wherever you can.

Stay protected on your devices. Many cellular phones now provide the option for you to secure your device with either a password, passcode, or even your fingerprint. This helps to provide additional security in the event you misplace your phone or electronic device.

Try not to download aftermarket applications. These are often times not regulated and can leave you susceptible to having your device hacked and your information compromised.

Enable two factor authentication. This allows the site that you access to send you a one-time verification code either to your email or as a text message, to verify your identity. When entered in conjunction with your password it provides additional security.

Change your Wi-Fi/router network name from the default setup provided. Do not include any personal information in the name.

Delete your browsing history, cookies, and clear your cache on your browser on a regular bases. This minimizes your digital footprint.

Use strong passwords. A strong password contains upper and lower case letters, numbers, special characters, and I at least seven characters long. Avoid using personal names and dates. Opt for a sentence over a single word. Also it is important to use different passwords for every different service o site that you use. If you have difficulty remembering them all, use a password manager to keep track.

Beware of attachments and links. Most malware is spread by email attachments or links. These links typically take you to a destination that is different from what it says. Hackers can change the hyperlink behind the text to take you to their website instead of the one you thought you were going to.

Be care how you pay for online purchases. Never use money wire transfers when paying online. This type of payment is often used by scammers as there is no need for identification to receive payment. Always use a legitimate payment proxy service.

Be careful of public Wi-Fi. When using public Wi-Fi you want to be careful. It is easy for attackers to eavesdrop on your browsing sessions and you will never know. There are computer programs designed to listen to all the traffic on a network looking for username and password combination and the site they are used for.