How do you navigate safely on the web? By being cautious, using the right tools, and following our safety tips.
A download here, a new user profile there. The digital everyday life takes more and more place in our lives and can enrich them sustainably. But where there is light, there’s also darkness. In the digital world, the downside comes in various forms, such as password theft, malware, or hacker attacks. How do you protect yourself against these threats? By being cautious and using digital products responsibly. Hendrik Deseniß, product manager at Deutsche Telekom and expert on the “Digital Protection Package,” helped us put together a few tips to help you stay safe on the net.
1. Use a strong password and use it for one application only
New platforms appear on the net almost daily. If you decide to register for one of these, the first thing you need to think about is how to protect your identity. And for that you need a strong password. The longer, the better. Eight characters is an absolute minimum. Ideally it should be a combination of upper and lower case as well as numbers and special characters such as an exclamation point or question mark. If you don’t want to create your own passwords, you can use a password manager. It not only creates the passwords. It also remembers them for you. The German Federal Office for Information Security (Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik – BSI) has other tips on secure passwords.
And what if someone hacked your password? “You need to request a new password or change your password. You also need to check straightaway whether someone has misused your account. As a last resort you can also initiate legal proceedings against persons unknown,” says Hendrik Deseniß, product manager at Deutsche Telekom.
2. Back up data regularly
Whether it’s photos, videos, or text files – files are priceless for most people. That’s why you should back up your data regularly. “For someone that creates lots of documents, takes lots of photos, etc. we’d recommend backing up their data more often. How often depends on how important the data is, the potential risk of a device being destroyed, and whether or how many co-users could accidentally delete something.” The individual circumstances are therefore decisive. And when it comes to the data backup, “the best way to back up your data is by using continuous systemic backups. They’re created automatically. So it minimizes your work in the long run and you don’t have to worry about backups,” says Hendrik Deseniß.
3. Instigate first-aid measures if a virus infects your system
Viruses and Trojans are every user’s nightmare. And they’re becoming more sophisticated all the time. You could find yourself lured into a trap. If so, then you need to implement countermeasures fast: “Remove the malware with a virus scanner. Change passwords for all the applications you use. Check bank and credit-card accounts for unauthorized transactions. If you find these kinds of transactions, immediately notify the bank and report the offense to the police,” says Hendrik Deseniß.
4.Protect children against internet risks
Children are not immune from cybercrime. That’s why it’s even more important to protect children effectively against online risks. But how? “By using a secure Wi-Fi password, restricting Wi-Fi access based on time of day, defining accessible internet addresses, or storing MAC addresses in the router so that only certain devices – even with the right Wi-Fi key – have access. We’d also recommend setting up parental controls by installing programs like Frag Finn.”
So there’s a lot you can do to close security gaps or to make sure these don’t occur in the first place. Deutsche Telekom’s Digital Protection Package offers its customers separate support that delivers all-round carefree protection for the digital environment. The Deutsche Telekom experts check the Wi-Fi security and install automatic data backups for anything that is vital. The experts provide first-aid and initiate all necessary measures with regard to cyberbullying that is damaging to your reputation, the misuse of customer and account data, problems with online purchases, the restoration of faulty data media, and in many other cases. The Digital Protection Package also includes the ID alarm, an innovative tool that detects identity theft. “So far we’ve managed to help our customers or advise them in many thousands of cases with the Digital Protection Package.” Whether you resolve the issue yourself or turn to the experts for assistance, the golden rule for safety is that it’s always better to be safe than sorry.