Building an online presence can be challenging and the web is a very, very big place.
When starting your own business or brand, things tend to move fast. You may sign up for one site, post something to another, and receive an email from someone, somewhere. Keeping track of where your information goes may seem daunting, especially when you aren’t a computer expert. So how do you keep your and your company’s information safe?
Here are a few services, setting, and programs to keep in mind when putting yourself out there on the great, wide-open Internet…
Be sure not to use the same password for every one of your accounts – that way if one password or account is compromised it wont bring down your whole operation. Use capital letters, numbers and symbols to discourage unwanted access. Keep a list (preferably on good, old-fashioned paper) of the sites you use with their corresponding usernames and passwords somewhere safe and away from prying eyes.
The Cloud (Google Cloud, iCloud, etc) is a great way to keep backups of important online and computer documents, but that convenience come with a hidden cost. Once you upload any of your information in a Cloud service you lose a bit of control. That information is only as safe as the service and it’s in that company’s hands now. Hope you trust them…
Just be smart when you post. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t tell to a complete stranger. Once it’s out there, it’s out there. Take your time when updating your social media and try to avoid doing it on the go or as an afterthought.
Only use trusted wireless networks (actually, only use YOUR wireless network). Just avoiding any public wifi goes a long, long way.
VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) ensure that what you browse online is completely private and unable to be tracked backed to you. NordVPN, ExpressVPN, HideMyAss! are all great paid VPNs that allow you to click away with peace-of-mind knowing nobody is watching you.
Disable them until you need to use them. Who knows who’s tracking your location? This is mostly precautionary but it never hurts to be too careful. Why let just anybody or any company know where you are if you don’t have to?
Backups & Updates
Take your time and read the fine print when updating any software or backing up any information. Go into you computer setting and set your computer or device to always ask you before installing or updating anything. That way you at least have a chance to approve what’s coming in and out of you virtual world. Think of yourself as your own ‘bouncer’.
Trust Your Gut & Double-Check
Being a little bit paranoid can save you and your business a lot of headaches in the future. Bes sure to take it slow and take a second or to think before you post or click.
When in doubt or when you just have a bad feeling about something, check third-party sites to see if the site you feel uneasy about is reputable. A good example is CasinoSmash’s ‘rogue casino’ list. CasinoSmash reviews casinos and has a list detailing the sketchy, un-trustworthy sites they’ve encountered. They even offer a few tips on online security too.
Reputable websites and companies are always on the lookout for phonies and people up to no good. They want you to know who the bad guys are (because they make them look bad) as much of you. Use their resources!
Make sure you read the terms and mean it when you decide to consent online. Remember… Think before you click!