Experts’ Tips For Staying Safe Online

By Debbie Carlson
Chicago Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Adam Levin, chairman and founder of identity-theft mitigation firm CyberScout and author of “Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves” says don’t get upset if you do fall victim to a hacker, he says internet breaches have become the third certainty of life. However, there are things you can do to better protect yourself and your family.

Chicago Tribune

The online world is a scary place, viruses and malware that steal information make their way onto computers, and hackers hijack devices and demand a ransom to get back stored information.

There are safe ways to be online, and security experts say a combination of safe behavior and products helps keep users protected.

A good defense is as important as a good offense. Avoid clicking on suspicious links in “phishing” emails, those that look as if they’re from legitimate senders like banks and other institutions, and don’t download files from unknown websites.

“You have more power than you think. You have control over clicking on links in email and what programs you use. The reason why (hacking) works is it’s human nature to be curious,” said Monica Eaton-Cardone, chief information officer of Global Risk Technologies, an international technology firm that provides dynamic risk mitigation.

But don’t get upset if you do fall victim, said Adam Levin, chairman and founder of identity-theft mitigation firm CyberScout and author of “Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves.”

“Internet breaches have become the third certainty of life,” he said.

Use your anti-virus and anti-malware software programs. Eaton-Cardone said nontechnical people sometimes get frustrated by default security settings. The settings can be so high that they prevent users from going to otherwise safe websites. That sometimes leads people to disable the software, leaving themselves vulnerable to attacks, she said. A simple fix is to adjust the security settings to be less aggressive but still keep the user safe.

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