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Protect Yourself on the Web With These Three Simple Steps

Most people understand that the passwords to their computers and networks need to be more difficult to guess or crack. All of our computers and devices are connected these days so it is important to keep people out that do no need to be there. There was a time when computers were stand alone devices we all used in our homes for personal reasons. It may have been acceptable to set up a computer with a simple password or no password at all. But, nowadays you are asking for trouble if you do not follow safe password practices. Here are three steps to follow in order to make more secure passwords.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

It sounds complicated, but two factor authentication is pretty simple to set up in most cases. Basically, it is simply going through two steps in order to gain access to a system. The ideas is that even if someone guesses your password they still need another form of authentication to gain access.
A typical two factor authentication scenario goes as follows. The user will enter a password to access a system. Once the password is verified the system will then ask for a number that changes frequently. This number can be texted to the owner’s phone or randomly generated in an app or device. This second number is often called a token.
Many popular websites, like Facebook and Microsoft, offer two-factor authentication. Many banks and financial institutions are also offering it to their customers.

Use HTTPS When Browsing

As the Internet has grown and matured, browsers have made it easier on us to find what we are looking for on the Web. They have created all manner of shortcuts to the point we can just type in a word in a browser and find what we are looking to find. Many people do not even remember being forced to type http:// and www in the browser.
But, that convenience has made us lazy too. We look for shortcuts to get to where we need to go. This shortcut has caused us to overlook a powerful tool we can use to make our online security much better, and that is using https:// before our urls.
Https is a secure type of hypertext transfer protocol. It encrypts the information that is sent between the client browser and the web server.
Getting into the habit of doing that can be a pain. But you can use browser extensions like HTTPS Everywhere to do it for you automatically. This extension is available for Firefox, Chrome and Opera.

Keep Your Browser Updated

One simple thing you can do to keep your online experience more secure is to keep your browser updated. Browsers can be a common entry point hackers if they are left unsecured. They will prey upon people’s laziness in keeping them updated. They will actually scan ranges of computers looking for vulnerabilities to exploit.
Keeping a browser updated is a pretty simple process and only takes a few minutes. Most of them just take a visit to the settings to find the update button. If you are using Internet Explorer, it can be accomplished with regular Windows updates.
It is more important than ever to play it safe on the Internet. Much like the Wild West was a place without law and order back in the day, the Internet is currently in the same situation. It is up to individuals and organizations to protect themselves from the dark side of the World Wide Web.