When it comes to online security, the rules have changed: with hackers prowling in digital shadows and crafting malicious code that can sneak past traditional antivirus programs, you need more than just software on your side. To protect yourself (and whatever device you're using) from nefarious intrusions, be they personal or business-related, here are five must-SKIP moves when surfing the web.

  1.  With thousands of free apps available online, you may be tempted to download the ones from unknown sources. Beware! You might end up downloading malicious programs and rogue apps that can put your device at risk for security and privacy breaches, not cool. To keep yourself safe when browsing or shopping around app stores, make sure to only install applications from trusted providers that have been tested against certain security standards.
    For business owners: don't forget about configuring work machines so employees won’t accidentally expose company data by installing any questionable software (or files). Protect yourself
    today, stay smart with downloads.
  2.  Surf the web with confidence! Make sure you're protected when accessing downloads on public WiFi. A basic antivirus is not enough, talk to your IT company about endpoint protection solutions like a VPN that can protect you from cybercriminals and filter out malicious websites. With added security, feel free to enjoy those latte-fueled online shopping trips without fear of inviting hacks onto your device or network!
  3.  Keep your system secure by being careful about the files you open and download from emails. Phishing attacks are commonly used to fool even the savviest users, hackers may send messages that appear legitimate, disguised as coming from a friend or colleague in order to gain access into networks. Don’t get caught out: double-check all unexpected attachments before opening them. It's much safer for file sharing between colleagues/friends etc., if everyone stays within IT managed systems like OnDrive, SharePoint or Citrix ShareFile. Bottom line, if ANY file “feels” wrong or suspicious about a file download, including a weird extension or suspicious file name, CALL the person who sent it to verify. If it’s important, they can send it again.
  4. Don't be a victim of bloatware! When you're downloading an app, take the time to read what services and toolbars it's trying to sneak in. Oftentimes these will come with check boxes pre-checked so they can make more money off their downloads. Make sure you double-check before hitting that "Next" button, your device may thank you later!
  5. Avoid downloading music, software, games and movies from sites like BitTorrent, RARBG or 1337x. These peer-to-peer file sharing networks are unsafe, hackers can post files containing malicious viruses for you to download. While anti virus protection helps protect against this type of attack, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes digital security.

Business owners: after showing this to your team for both their work and personal devices, click here to schedule a quick 10-minute call to find out how we can implement security systems that will give you stronger protections against hackers and against employees who accidentally click on or download a malicious file.