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How to Make E-mail, Web Browsing, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn More Secure

By:Christine Fettinger

As IT consultants, we know how spamware, hackers, and other intruders can usurp control of accounts and important files. With hacking, someone can gain access to one of your passwords or accounts. This can happen while working under a public Wi-Fi like at a coffee shop or with certain spyware programs.

It is important to protect yourself and your accounts from these attacks. I have heard repeatedly how users reuse two or sometimes three passwords for all of their personal accounts. This is an incredibly dangerous practice. If a hacker tracks your key strokes to get one of your passwords, how many accounts will he/she gain access to? The risk is astounding.

Journalist Matt Honan just published an article on wired.com where he describes how a hacker got into his Amazon account, which led to his Apple ID account, which led to his Gmail account, which led to his Twitter account. All of his data on his iPhone, iPad, and MacBook was erased. His Gmail was deleted and his Twitter was compromised. It is important to learn from these stories and take better measures to protect ourselves.

Your computer’s network security settings, your e-mail, and your social media accounts have options to better protect you from hackers. On accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, these settings have to be manually selected.

HTTPS uses a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) or a Transport Layer Security (TLS) as a sublayer under the normative HTTP layering. This encrypts and decrypts page requests and webpages to protect from eavesdropping, imposter sites, and middle-man attacks.

How to Better Protect Yourself On . . .


Facebook

  1. Go to Accounts and Click on Account Settings
  2. Click on Security
    fb_security_428x305
  3. Click on Secure Browsing
  4. Check the Secure Browsing (https) – Browse Facebook on a secure connection whenever possible box
  5. Save

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This will affect your mobile settings as well.


Twitter

  1. Go to Settings and click on Account
  2. At the bottom of the page, check the Always Use https box
  3. Save

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LinkedIn

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Click on Account
  3. Click on Manage Security Settings
    linkedin_security_424x324
  4. Check the When Possible, Use a Secure Connection (https) box
  5. Save

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General Web Browsing

  1. Go to your Control Panel
  2. Click View Network Status and Tasks under Network and Internet
  3. Click Choose Homegroup and Sharing Options
  4. Click Change Advanced Sharing Settings
  5. Under Public, turn off Network Discovery, File and Printer Sharing Options, and Public Folder Sharing
  6. Save

This will keep you better protected when using public Wi-Fi like at a local coffee shop.

Along with these settings, there are many other ways to keep yourself prepared.

  • Turn off your computer when not in use
  • Use strong passwords and preferably different passwords
  • Don’t run unknown programs
  • Use personal firewalls such as SonicWALL
  • Use spyware protection like McAfee

Keep your accounts safe.


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