Did you buy or receive any new tech over Christmas? While receiving a new smartphone, tablet or laptop over the holidays can be exciting, it is not without risks, because in many cases, the default delivery state of the shiny new thing offers very little in the way of cybersecurity.
That means connecting your new product to the internet straight out of the box without taking security precautions could leave you open to hacking, cyberattacks and malware – all of which could put your devices, data and privacy at risk. Here are a few simple ways you can protect your new devices:
Use a strong passcode/password
Obviously, you should pick a passcode to lock your device that cannot be guessed, even by someone who knows you. So, don’t use your birth year, your address or 1234. Better yet, use a password or a passphrase. And make sure it’s one you don’t use anywhere else.
And always use a unique password for all of your important accounts
We are going to repeat this one because it’s so important: Always use a unique and strong password for every account. It must be unique to protect you in the case that a particular entire service is hacked. And it has to be strong, so you won't be hacked personally. This advice sounds simple but given the many important accounts most of us have, it can get very difficult. Consider using a password manager to help you like the one that is included as part of TalkTalk’s SuperSafe security suite.
Write down your new phone’s IMEI (International Mobile Station Equipment Identity)
If your smartphone is ever stolen and you ask the police to help find it, they will likely ask for your IMEI. It’s unique to your phone (and cellular tablets) and you can likely find it on the phone’s box, battery or in its settings.
Set up your photos and videos to back up automatically
Either use the service your mobile platform offers or a third-party so you don’t have to worry about losing the contents of your device, which will soon be more valuable than the device itself.
Regularly apply software updates
Manufacturers and application developers update their code to fix security weaknesses and push out the updates. Enable settings to automatically apply these updates to your computer, tablet or smartphone to ensure that you’re fixing the identified weaknesses in the operating system or applications.
Use official apps whenever possible and delete apps you’re not using
Instead of using your browser to access Facebook or Twitter, use the apps for these sites, which have built-in encryption technology. And stick to the official stores of your mobile platform and check user reviews to make sure the apps you’re downloading are safe.
Put security software on all your new devices
Up-to-date security software is a must on all your devices. SuperSafe from TalkTalk protects all of your Smartphones, tablets and computers and includes features like Browsing and Banking Protection that keeps you from landing on fake banking sites designed to steal your private information. SuperSafe also offers Family Protection so you can set the same sort of digital boundaries for your kids that you set in the real world.
SuperSafe includes Online Defence internet security which protects up to 10 of the family’s mobiles, tablets and laptops from internet nasties, plus a really helpful Password Manager to make logging in to your online accounts safe and easy. All you need to do is login in to My Account and subscribe to SuperSafe for just £4 per month – you will then receive an email from F-Secure to install the apps on to all your devices.
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