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10 New Year’s Security Resolutions for You and Your Family

It’s a new year, and along with excising more and spending more time with your family, there’s a bunch of computer security resolutions that you should really make.

I’m not saying you have to follow all 10 of our New Year’s Security Resolutions, but each one will make you a little safer in the increasing dangerous World Wide Web.

  1. Change some of your passwords…

If you use the same password for all – or most – of your accounts, you should fix that now. It’s surprisingly easy for a hacker to steal a password from that small knitting forum you joined two years ago. And if that password is the same as your banking or email password, you’re in trouble.

  1. … and make your passwords more efficient

Include numbers, symbols and capital letters in your password to make it harder to crack. If you have a problem remembering these combinations, just make your password a long combination of random words: monkey-colour-card-headphones, for example, is an almost impossibly difficult password to crack.

  1. Backup

If you could easily make a copy of your most precious jewellery in case it got lost, would you? The answer is obviously yes – and it’s the same with your data. Backup your pictures, videos and documents or risk losing them forever if something goes wrong with your computer – or it is stolen. Norman offers an online back-up service, so your data is stored securely away from your house.

  1. Don’t click on short links…

Short links can hide anything behind them, so it’s best to avoid them. What looks like www.tinyurl.com/fishingtips can really be to www.malwaredownloads.com/steal-all-your-money, and you would never know until you clicked it.

  1. … or links in unsolicited emails…

Any links in unsolicited emails should be considered unsafe. They’re the no. 1 method for scammers to get your details, and there’s just no point in clicking them. If you’re interested in what they say – and you think it is a genuine email – just Google it.

  1. … or on social networking sites

It’s the same as above, except with your friend’s face attached to the link. Not everything people share on Facebook and Twitter is real – if it seems out of character, they’ve probably been hacked.

  1. Turn automated updates on

Have your PC problems fixed without actually doing anything? Sounds great! Just turn on automated updates.

  1. Make sure you have an anti-virus!

This sounds simple, but many people don’t have adequate virus protection. The built-in security options provided by your operating system are not good enough. Download Norman anti-virus to get better peace of mind.

  1. Password lock your smartphone

If your phone is stolen without a password lock, all of your SMS messages and emails are at the hands of the thief. That means both your real and digital life can be dramatically affected. A simple four-digit PIN can save a lot of hassle.

  1. Don’t use P2P file sharing without knowing the risks

P2P – or file-sharing – is a breeding place for viruses and other PC nasties. While some people are very tempted to use it to get free (and illegal) music and movies, these can come riddled with viruses.

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