Five Tips for Staying Safe on the Web

I ran across this excellent video by the wonderful folks at Google. Here are their five tips for keeping your files and computers safe and secure on the web.

1. Choose strong, unique passwords and don’t use the same password for everything. I’ve been totally guilty of this one because I found it so hard to remember all the different passwords for all of my different email accounts, forums, blog logins,etc, not to mention passwords and user names I need to remember for my clients. Be sure to use a mixture of case sensitive letters, numbers and characters. The use of characters like @, #, $, and & make it much more difficult for hackers and the software programs they use, to guess your passwords.

Additionally, change up your passwords at least twice a year. I know this is a hard one. It’s hard enough to remember all the username’s and passwords, but then to change them up? I understand this problem all to well, so I came up with two ways to remember and track all my user names and passwords. Have a look at my blog post Keeping Passwords Safe for my best two tips to keep track of your passwords.

2. Use two-step verification whenever possible. With your gmail account you can enable two-step verification, which means that every time you log in to your email account, you’ll enter your user name and password, and a code will be sent to your phone that you also enter. This will really stop hackers in their tracks.

3. Keep software, operating systems and browsers up to date as soon as a new version is available. Updates often have security updates included.

4. Be cautiously suspicious about links sent to you by friends and coworkers, or even services you’ve signed up with and, obviously, do not click on links sent to you from someone you don’t know, or from a company you don’t deal with. And, if your spidy sense is tingling about a link, don’t click it. Retype the link into a browser window and see if it’s the real deal. Keep in mind that Google or companies like you’re bank will NEVER email you asking for your user name and password.

5. Regularly Check computer for virues. My suggestion is to BUY a reputable product and use it. I know you can find free anti-virus software on the web, but I’m always suspicious of those types of things. It kind of seems like the perfect diabolical plan of a hacker to offer me free anti-virus software and then build himself his own little “back door” into my system. But, then, maybe I’m just cynical ☺.

For even more tips on how to stay safe on the web, visit www.Google.com/help/security.

Dropbox – Another Way to Safeguard Your Files

What Is Dropbox?

Dropbox is this really cool, super easy, online, free service that allows you to store your photos, files, documents, and videos on the web where you can access them from any computer in the world.  Perfect for a girl like me who wants to live in the cloud!

My wonderful, darling daughter introduced me to dropbox.  She started a new job a few weeks ago and the company she works for uses dropbox to send files to each other.  It’s fast, and it’s secure.  Plus, no more broken links and forgotten attachments.   When you need to send a file to someone, you literally drag it into the dropbox folder on your desktop, it syncs to the web, and, voilá, your done!  You just need to make sure you’ve designated the folder you put the file into as a shared folder, that you’re sharing with the person you’re sending the file too, of course, and that’s really all there is to it.

Access Files, Folders, Pics, Whatever From ANYWHERE in the WORLD

What I like about it is that I can create client folders and when I’m traveling all I have to do is drag the file to the appropriate folder and I’m sure the file will be there when I need it. I can access it from ANY computer that can reach the internet.  I can even check on the files and set up folders and lots of other stuff right from my phone if I need to.  And, it’s available on the iphone, ipad, Android, and Blackberry.

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