The internet is a vast landscape of content. Being online is pretty dangerous, whether you like it or not. The websites you visit and apps you use can track you, send you viruses and malware, or just straight up share your data with other third-party sources. Here are a few tips about how to regularly check your devices and keep yourself safe.
The first thing you can do is check the website haveibeenpwned.com. It is a great, secure site that checks if your emails and passwords have been breached or compromised in any way. Being able to see what’s happened to your online history is essential for keeping yourself safe.
Do you use apps like Discord or Steam? You should get TFA, also known as Two-factor Authentication. What this does is give an extra layer of security measures to logging in and out of your devices to prevent any hacker getting into your account without your direct attention. Using Discord and Steam as an example, you can go into Discord’s account settings and enable TFA by downloading or installing external apps like Authy or the Google Authenticator app to your personal devices. When you (or anyone) try to log in to your Discord, you’ll get a confirmation email alongside a temporary code to type in. Steam has its own authenticator on its mobile device app, which you can activate easily by just going to your account settings.
Another precaution Windows users can take is to regularly do scans for viruses. In the setting “Virus & threat protection,” you can select between quick scans, full scans, custom file scans or a Microsoft Defender Offline scan for particularly malicious viruses. They can find corrupted or infected files, isolate them, and delete them either for you automatically, or have you manually review them for inspection. All of this for the low price of free!
Other third-party services, like McAfee or Norton, although paid for, do this job much better.
If you still have concerns, don’t shy away from looking up methods and doing your own research! Change your passwords if you think something’s wrong or block spam callers that try to take your data. Stay safe out there!
Ezan Charo, Junior, ChiArts
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