It may be surprising to learn that online behavior can be just as risky, or even more risky in some cases, than what is experienced in the real world. When you aren’t protecting yourself online, your sensitive, personal information becomes exposed to hackers who may use it for identity theft and much more.
According to a study completed by Webroot, an Internet security service provider, using a computer without protection and security is actually riskier than leaving your own home unlocked. In the study, 1,637 adults were surveyed, and the results were startling.
Among the findings
The following is a list of some of Webroot’s findings:
- 85% of individuals surveyed say that using a computer without security is considered high-risk, while 83% think leaving your front door or car door unlocked is high-risk.
- Informing others of as password is just as risky is driving your vehicle without a seatbelt or car insurance. 85% of people think sharing your password is high-risk, while 87% think driving without a seatbelt is high-risk.
- Adults feel more comfortable when arranging a meeting with a stranger than they do opening an email attachment from an unknown sender.
- Using a credit card for an online purchase with an unknown and unfamiliar website is riskier than providing personal information over the phone, according to 75% of people who said online purchases are high-risk. Only 65% think sharing information over the phone is high-risk.
- 45% of the surveyed said losing your smartphone or mobile phone is just as bad as losing a purse or wallet. 61% think losing your laptop or tablet computer is just as bad or worse than having a wallet or purse lost or stolen.
How Business Owners and Employees Can Protect Their Data
There are many ways to protect your data, with online security software being the most common. The internet security experts at Webroot have the following recommendations for keeping your private and personal data safe while using your computer.
- Have a mobile security app installed on your smartphone to protect against mobile malware. Your phone can be infected just as quickly as your computer, with it being more common on Android phones.
- Install GPS tracking software on your computer and a tracking app on your mobile phone. This will help you track it down if it becomes lost or stolen. Many GPS software apps will also lock your phone or computer if it gets stolen.
- Use caution when you access Wi-Fi from a remote location. Not all public access points have security from hackers, which includes hotels, restaurants, cafes, and airports. You shouldn’t use public access hot spots unless it is for simple browsing.
- Never share your password with anyone, and change it often. You should choose a password that combines upper and lower case letters with numbers and symbols. Mix up the symbols, letters and numbers to make it harder to crack. You should also never use the same password for more than one site.
- Never open an email attachment if you don’t know who sent it. Even if it appears to be nothing dangerous, a single attachment can crash your hard drive.
Aside from these security measures, you can offer yourself more protection by purchasing cyber liability insurance. Cyber liability insurance offers coverage in case your information get hacked into, even if you have taken the proper security measures.