Whether you spend a lot of time online or just a little, the habits you develop can keep you safe – or put you at risk. Developing good habits and dumping bad ones is the best way to protect yourself online, and it all starts with knowing the difference.
It is all too easy to develop risky online habits, but changing your ways can be just as simple. Here are five dangerous online habits you should avoid at all costs.
- Using the same password everywhere — It is tempting to use the same password everywhere you go online, and having a single password to remember can certainly make your life easier. Even so, using the same password at multiple sites is extremely dangerous, since a single data breach can put your entire online identity at risk.
- Sharing your credentials – You may think that sharing a Netflix or HBO account is no big deal, but it could put you at real risk. Sharing passwords and online credentials, even with a trusted friend, can make a data breach more likely, so do yourself a favor and get your own account.
- Sharing too much – Oversharing is a big risk on social media, and the things you post could put your online identity at risk. Posting details that could be used as passwords or challenge questions is especially risky, so think before you share.
- Relying on public Wi-Fi – Public Wi-Fi networks are everywhere, and it is tempting to use them to reduce your data usage and avoid costly overages. Keep in mind, however, that public Wi-Fi networks are inherently insecure, and you should never conduct sensitive business – like online banking – when connected to one.
- Not changing default passwords – You take great pains to secure your home Wi-Fi network and set a strong password on your smartphone, but what about your programmable thermostat and your DVR? Those devices are also connected to the Internet, and failing to change their default passwords could put your entire network at risk.
Keeping your online identity secure has never been more important, and changing the way you conduct your everyday business is a great place to start. If you have picked up any of the five dangerous habits listed above, now is the time to change your ways and take control of your online life. Adopting the right online habits can protect you from identity theft and other serious risks, and now is the time to get going.