As you browse the web, you’re likely accustomed to seeing popups asking if you will “accept cookies.” What are “cookies” – and should you accept? Internet cookies allow browsers to track and save information about your time spent on websites. While cookies use data to help create a more personalized browsing experience for you, it’s important to safeguard your privacy when hitting “accept.”
While all eyes turn from Thanksgiving to the winter holiday season, don’t forget the importance of National Computer Security Day on November 30. Here are a few ways for you to keep your personal information secure when browsing the internet, which is especially important during the holiday season as many of us take advantage of online deals.
- Update all your passwords. This will make it harder for bad actors who may have gained access to your information and/or systems from previous breach attempts. Consider using system-generated passwords and tracking them all in a free password vault.
- Back up all your files (including photos) in multiple places. Consider an external hard drive and backing up using any of the free cloud storage services. This will ensure you’ll be able to retrieve the files that are important to you, no matter what befalls your device.
- Password-protect all your devices and lock your screens (10 minutes is a good standard), even if you don’t use them for work. Each device is a portal into your life. Make it as difficult as possible for someone who finds your phone that you left on your table at the restaurant last night to access your data.
- Install anti-virus, spyware and malware software (or make sure yours is up-to-date). There are several free options.
Reviewed July 2023
Written by: Sarah Nicholas
Sarah is the Director of Communications for Serendipity Communications. She lives in Plainwell, Michigan with her husband, daughters and stepson, with twin stepdaughters pursuing their dreams out West. She is passionate about cyber safety education and enjoys ballet dancing, reading, and volunteering in her community.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Ameris Bank is not affiliated with nor endorses any of the companies featured in this article.