BBB tips for online safety

By Reanna Smith-Hamblin - Better Business Bureau

Do you use your computer or mobile device for online banking, shopping, or just to stay connected to friends? Make sure you are protecting your information! Here are some tips from your Better Business Bureau (BBB):

Protect Your Computer and Your Smartphone. Install anti-virus and firewall protection on both devices, and make sure all software is up-to-date.

Safe Apps. When banking or shopping on your mobile device, be sure you are using apps that come from office stores. Read the reviews on the app to make sure it is legitimate.

Your Smartphone. Never leave it unattended. Protect it with a passcode or other security feature to restrict access.

When shopping. Make sure the website you go to, whether from your computer or your mobile device, has the padlock icon and “https” that indicates secure access in the browser address bar.

Public Wi-Fi. Don’t use public internet for banking or other transactions. Someone could be watching or recording your activity. Public wi-fi is not secure.

Safer Email. Beware of unsolicited emails, or links or attachments, even from people you may know. Their account could have been hacked. These links and attachments could download malware on your computer or device. This software can steal your personal information.

Passwords. Use strong passwords for your accounts, and don’t use the same password for every account. Be sure to include capital letters, numbers, and special characters. Don’t use the name of your child, the name of your pet, or your birthdate.

Social Networking. Don’t post personal information on social media. Don’t share your birth date, address, or when you are leaving for vacation.

For more tips, go to or call 1-800-388-2222.

By Reanna Smith-Hamblin

Better Business Bureau

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