Can different email accounts improve your online security?
Even small steps help
More pro tips:
1. Take care to keep your email address private; share it only with those who need it. You may want to route non-essential senders to an email account configured for spam.
2. Limit the incoming communications you sign up for, as a less cluttered inbox will make it easier to spot summary emails – which you should ignore, delete and consider reporting to your email provider.
3. If you receive a suspicious and unsolicited email, don’t click “unsubscribe” because you could tell a bad actor that the email used to reply is valid and active, says Anscombe.
4. Be careful what you share with marketers. If you’re asked on your birthday to receive a freebie or discount, pick a date at random, says Velasquez.
5. Never share a passcode sent to you. It’s only for your use, but cyber crooks will invent excuses to snatch it away from you, she warns.
6. Use anti-virus security software and perform necessary security updates.
7. When visiting a website, look for the padlock next to the domain name displayed by your browser, says Budd. It’s like a website’s driver’s license. Click on the padlock to make sure the site is what it says. If, for example, you want to visit macys.com, don’t make a purchase if what’s behind the lock says something unusual, like firstname.lastname@example.org.
8. When shopping online, consider checking out as a guest and think twice before asking a vendor to store your payment information. Anscombe at ESET never lets a merchant store their credit card information. “I type it in — it’s a 16-digit number,” he said. “Don’t leave your data on the internet, because that’s what you actually do.”
9. Seek help from a trusted person or entity if cybersecurity measures are an issue. And if it all seems overwhelming, Velasquez urges taking baby steps because “even if you make small changes, you make a difference.”