Modern technology gives us many things.

It’s Safer Internet Day and time to take a look at your own online security

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Today is Safer Internet Day and it’s a great time to take stock of your own online security to ensure you don’t fall victim to a cyber criminal or endanger your personal information.

Cyber criminals are becoming even more sophisticated and you’ll be surprised what some hackers are capable of.

Here are some of the dangers:

RANSOMWARE

Did you know a hacker can infect your computer, take it over and hold it hostage?

The victim is them asked to pay a ransom to get back their files.

If you have internet security software and a back up of all your files – this won’t be an issue.

PUTTING YOUR FRIENDS IN DANGER

It’s one thing to put yourself at risk if you’re not taking precautions but if your email or social media accounts are compromised a cyber criminal could “spear-phish” and lure their next victims through your account.

And because it appears to be coming from you, your friends are likely to read and click on whatever you’re apparently sharing.

Having secure and different hard-to-crack passwords will safeguard these accounts.

PASSWORD PROTECT YOUR DEVICE

Alarmingly there are still a lot of people who don’t have a password on their mobile device.

With a smartphone holding as much, if not more, personal information than our computers – If it is lost or stolen you are putting yourself in danger.

It’s not hard to set up a password or PIN on your device. Go into the settings and do it now if you don’t already have a password.

Internet security specialists Symantec and Norton are dedicated to helping us enjoy safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology.

Here are some of their tips to keep yourself protected online:

BE CAREFUL ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media is where the news comes to us through links shared on those respective platforms.

And scammers know we’re more likely to click on links shared by their friends but compromised accounts could send you to a malicious site.

So think twice about the link you’re about to click. Often these “click-bait” headlines are designed to be so enticing you feel like you have to click through. Think twice and be careful!

USE STRONG PASSWORDS

Having a strong password is like having the toughest padlock on your gate. You’ve got to assume a hacker is going to try and crack your account so don’t make it easy for them with a simple and weak password.

Put some though into it and use upper and lower case letters and mix in some numbers and punctuation as well.

INSTALL INTERNET SECURITY SOFTWARE

If your computer doesn’t have internet security software, you’re just asking for trouble.

By installing security software, it can provide protection and warnings when visiting suspect sites or when you try and open an infected file.

The software can can also be used across a number of your mobile devices and allow you to back up your files in the cloud for safekeeping.