Sixty-three percent of Cox customers ages 57 and older — Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation — say they worry about online security and privacy.
To help protect yourself from fraud, hacking and scams, here are some tips to keep you and your personal information safe while surfing the web.
According to recent research from Forrester, about one-third of Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation use two-factor authentication to confirm their identify when logging into their accounts. And just over half use password or PIN code protection for their smartphones.
Strong passwords should contain:
• At least seven characters;
• Include numbers;
• Include a special character like an exclamation point or asterisk.
Don’t use the same password for different sites. A hacker can gain access to all your accounts if you only use one password. On your smartphone, be sure to set up a four- or six-digit PIN to protect your device.
Consider using two-factor authentication when creating accounts online, which generates a one-time code sent to your mobile device or email to confirm your identity. (AARP)
Opt Out of Pop-ups
Sometimes hackers disguise their malware as pop-up advertisements or “special offers” when you’re shopping or reading online. Clicking on these pop-ups can lead to viruses or data breaches.
If you encounter a suspicious pop-up message, don’t click on anything in the window. Simply leave the site or close out of your web browser. You can also change your browser settings and block all pop-ups.
Phishing for Answers
Sometimes online hackers will send you an email or text message and pretend to be someone they’re not in order to convince you to share valuable information with them, such as your social security number (SSN), address or credit card information. This is called phishing. (Age Safe America)
If you receive a message from an unknown sender, do not respond or click on any links or attachments. Instead, ignore the message or have someone trustworthy see if it’s from a legitimate source.
Your internet provider likely has features to alert you if you’ve accidentally visited a malicious site or are a potential victim of a phishing attack. Cox, for example, offers information about the top five digital threat risks and how its technology adds an extra layer of security.
Oversharing is Not Caring
Hackers can easily gather information about you on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Update your privacy settings so that only people who follow you or are your Facebook friends can see your posts.
Don’t post photos that give away your hometown or address, and avoid quizzes that ask you to enter your name, age, gender, or even what color your first car was.
Consider disabling sharing on Facebook and other social media sites, which turns off the site’s ability to collect data about you. Learn more here.
Put the ‘S’ in Secure
Before you shop or access your bank online, look for an ‘s’ at the end of https: in the beginning of the web address. The ‘s’ stands for secure. If you don’t see it in the web address that you’re on, you should not trust that website with your passwords, payment or banking information.
Use mobile apps created specifically by your bank or other business. Go to their website and follow instructions to download the app.
Have Some Backup
Anti-virus software protects your computer from a variety of malware and makes it easier for you to avoid threats while surfing the web. Two-thirds (66%) of Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation use security software to protect themselves online.
Yet only 12% report that their internet service company provided it for them.
Cox’s internet plans offer many online security features that detect potential fraud and scams before you ever see them. Cox Panoramic Wifi includes free Advanced Security to actively protect customers by preventing cyberattacks, blocking unknown connections, and routinely scanning your network for threats.
Learn more about how Cox can help you can safeguard your network and devices at Cox.com