Be it the ubiquity of hacking or widespread government surveillance, better online security is something that we could all use more of these days.
Google is pushing to educate users on how to stay safe online. The company released a batch of security tips on Thursday. They can help you better protect your identifying information (like passwords, for one) and sensitive files, as well as fend off hackers.
Here are five of Google’s 12 tips for staying safe when using its resources — that can mean search engines, browsers and even mobile devices.
1. Create a better password than “password”
It might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by completely terrible passwords some people use. It’s important to use different passwords for each service you use — and there are some pretty solid password managers, like LastPass.
2. Protect your account and your selfies from hackers
Google’s suggests using its two-step verification, an easy-to-use and fundamentally important security measure. How it works is when you sign into a Google account from an unfamiliar computer, you’ll be sent a verification code (usually to a mobile device) to be doubly sure that you are who you say you are.
3. Keep prying eyes off your device
This refers to mobile: Use PIN numbers, passwords or any number of biometric options (like fingerprint sensors, for example) to keep your devices safe from unwanted attention.
4. Let questionable content be known the minute you see it
If you see content that breaks the rules or is questionable in any way (on, say, YouTube) flag it. Don’t wait to report — Google’s team works to monitor this, but your help can create a better experience for everyone involved.
5. Keep the hackers out by updating your browser
We all get annoyed by update reminders, but it’s a super important part of keeping your online security intact. Old browser versions might have security holes that need patching, so don’t hesitate when a Chrome update comes through.
For the full list with more details on protecting yourself, head over to Google’s page that includes step-by-step guides (plus pictures) on how to get started.
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