Experts offer online security tips

Experts identify effective security practices.

With all the website breaches going on lately – Yahoo, Formspring and the Phandroid forums just to name a few – it might seem like there are hackers everywhere. Although you don’t need to separate yourself entirely from the rest of the internet, it is a good idea to follow some precautionary security practices to protect your login and other sensitive information.

A recent CIO magazine article had some helpful tips for improving your security. Luckily for the sanity of all of us, good online security doesn’t necessarily require 26-character passwords. One of the easier tricks is to use your Facebook or Google identity to login rather than typing in your login credentials whenever websites allow it.

“First, it’s convenient,” said Patrick Harding, chief technical officer at Ping Identity, who was quoted in the article. “Second, popular social media has better security practices than I do as a consumer so my Google identity is better evidence to the vendor that I am really doing the shopping than the various and probably weak passwords I might otherwise lose, forget, or have stolen.”

Some other handy tips from the article include:

• Do a little research on companies before handing over credit card information
• Only submit sensitive information to sites that begin with “HTTPS://” – this ensures the website’s owner and security have been verified
• Avoid connecting with people you don’t know on social media websites
• If you do online shopping or banking, use a separate browser or even a separate computer from the one you normally use

As with most defenses, a layered security approach is best. In addition to carefully guarding your information, make sure your antivirus, antimalware and other critical programs have the latest patches. Hackers often use vulnerabilities in older versions of software to sneak malware into your computer.

Do you take any other online security measures? How do you protect your online accounts from hackers?

Matt Williams

A self-proclaimed ‘tech geek’, Matt has worked in technology for a decade and divides his time between blogging and working in IT. A huge New York Giants fan, when not watching football Matt gets his game on playing Call of Duty with his friends and other tech bloggers.