This is part two of our two-part series dedicated to educating users on techniques for developing better security habits at home. Part One included tips on: how to keep a secure connection; safe internet usage in a public setting; and, practicing safe browsing. This second part details: being vigilant with your email inbox; being aware of shady scammer behaviour; and, how to protect yourself with security software.

1. Be Vigilant with Your Inbox

2. Be Aware of Shady Behaviour

Scepticism is a valuable tool when it comes to security. Malicious actors may try to convince you to perform actions that will lead to compromise. This is called ‘social engineering’.

3. Install Security Software

It may seem like an expense that you could do without, but security software is recommended for every computer system, including your home computer. A good security system will include: a firewall, malware and spyware detection and protection, and some offer parental controls which are great if you have children at home. Finding an all-in-one package is highly recommended, as running more than one security system can cause issues due to the way security systems work. If more than one security system is active on your computer, they may detect each other as malware.

Update and Run It Regularly

Setting your security software to update regularly is important. New forms of malware are being discovered on a regular basis. Keeping your software up to date ensures that it will recognise more recent malware types. Some security software is available on a yearly subscription. If your software expires, it may continue to work, but it will most likely not get updated any more. That means it will only keep protecting you against older types of malware. A once-a-week security scan is ideal, but it’s not enough to simply set your security system to run at a certain time. You need to ensure your computer is turned on at the scheduled time so that it can run uninterrupted. If your scan is set for 3am but you turn off your computer at night, the scan will not run and your computer will not be protected.

Keep Other Software Updated

Where the option is available, turn on automatic updates for all software. This includes your computer’s operating system and any other devices in your home, such as game consoles. Updates to software often fix bugs and security flaws. These are the same bugs and security flaws that malicious actors use to break into your home network. Making certain that your devices have up-to-date patches improves security.

The Australian Government has produced some excellent resources about protecting yourself online. We highly recommend visiting their online safely site and browsing their library. If you believe you have been the victim of cybercrime, the Australian Government have an online reporting network. This site also has further information about how you can protect yourself against various types of cybercrime.

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