How to secure your virtual world

Photo of keys in door

When you think of your valuable items you generally think of your home, right? There’s your 50” flat screen television, Xbox gaming console (with many, many awesome games), and that bottle of Moet you received for Christmas.

But what about the valuable information you have online? Now, more than ever, we are storing an abundance of valuable information on our digital devices – if not in the cloud.

If you aren’t mindful of your online security, sensitive documents, your identity and even your hard earned cash could be taken from you. So, just as you would lock the door to your home, you should protect your online information as well.

The Griffith University IT Security webpage has some great advice about how to stay safe and secure online. Here are a few safety tips to get you started:

Install anti-virus software
Did you know Griffith University Students get 50% off selected Norton security products? Now if you’re using one of our computers or laptops, don’t worry, they all have Norton anti-virus installed  (‘cause we’ve got your back).

Avoid peer-to-peer (P2P) networks
According to Lifewire, ‘when you download files from other peers on the BitTorrent, eMule, or other P2P network you don’t know for sure that the file is what it says it is. You might think you are downloading a great new utility, but when you double-click the EXE file how can you be sure that you haven’t also installed a Trojan or backdoor in your computer allowing an attacker to access it at will?’

Make sure you create a strong password
Not sure where to start? Check out our handy tips for creating a password. And just so you know, ‘password’ is not a good password. In fact, it’s been reported in the press as one of the most common passwords used! Other common passwords include: qwerty, monkey, letmein, changeme, internet, iloveyou, jesus, jesussaves, 1q2w3e4r, 1qaz2wsx and of course swear words and nicknames for parts of the anatomy.

Never reply to emails asking you for personal information
Did you receive an email asking for your bank account details? Chances are pretty high that you didn’t win a fortune in a lottery you never entered or inherit millions from a rich uncle you never knew existed. So if you neglect to provide your bank details, you won’t miss out on anything – except trouble.

Never click on sites that seem questionable
There are billions of websites online. And while many of them are legit, there are also quite a few that are not. If the site’s description, title, or URL seems dodgy to you, don’t click on it. Otherwise you could pick up something nasty, like spyware, malware or a virus.