Tips for better online safety -

Tips for better online safety

Whether you're checking your email, tracking finances online or even playing a game, your connection to the internet can open the door to hackers. These days, that is truer than ever.

Peter Ireland is a computer security consultant. "The computer power available out there to the hackers is much more advanced and it's cheaper," he says. "Unprotected websites, unprotected business sites – they are easy targets."

He offers several tips that are critical to keeping your online experience safe:

1)      Keep your anti-virus program up to date – every day.

2)      Never click on any suspicious email links.

3)      Don't use any suspicious thumb drives, which can carry malicious material.

4)      Make your passwords difficult to decipher. Experts say the longer they are, the better.

The difference between a four-character password and eight characters could be all it takes for hackers to crack your code.

"It probably takes about 30 seconds to crack a four and 30 years to crack an eight," says Ireland.

Many people are very concerned about their online identities, and with good reason. Hackers access personal accounts and other information every day.

"We've got more work than we can handle, quite frankly," Ireland concludes.

Copyright 2011 America Now. All rights reserved.

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