Cybersecurity is a part of our everyday life

Cybersecurity includes issues such as data encryption and backup and the use of firewalls, antivirus software and website certificates.

A secure connection is a prerequisite for safe Internet access

  • Using a wired connection or mobile data on your personal phone are usually the most secure ways of connecting to the Internet.
  • Do not use unsecure networks, such as public Wi-Fi that can be accessed without a password.
  • If necessary, you can make your network connection more secure by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). If you are using your phone as a wireless hotspot for your computer, remember to run the VPN software on your computer, not your phone.

Safe logins and downloads

  • Only log in to services and applications using a secure network connection. Ensure that any websites you are about to log in to use SSL encryption by checking that the web address starts with “https” and has a padlock icon next to it.
  • Use two-step verification on all web services and applications that offer it.
  • Enable login notifications on web services and applications. This will let you know if someone else has logged in using your username and password.
  • Always check that the login page of the web service you are using has the correct web address. An incorrect address is a sign of a phishing website.
  • If you receive an unsolicited link to a page that prompts you to log in, it is likely a phishing website.
  • Do not download or open unsolicited email attachments. This will help you avoid malware and viruses.
  • Only download and install software from websites you know to be trustworthy. This will help you avoid malware and scam programs.
  • Ensure you have the latest updates to your operating system, programs and applications installed – they often patch critical security vulnerabilities.
  • Back up your important data and files on a cloud service or another device. This way you can restore them if your usual device breaks down or is infected by malware.

Fingers on the laptop keyboard.

 What is a secure password?

  • Do not use the same password across different services.
  • The longer the password, the more secure it is. Use more than 8 characters. Use both upper- and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters.
  • A good password is easy to remember but hard to guess. For example, important dates or names of children, pets or sports clubs make for weak passwords.
  • Full sentences make good passwords – as long as they are not popular quotes or expressions.
  • Spelling errors, dialect, slang and other grammatical errors strengthen the password.
  • If you find it difficult to come up with and remember many different passwords, you can use password management software.
  • Put in extra effort for important passwords that you use to recover forgotten passwords, such as your email password.
  • Never tell anyone your passwords. Not even the authorities will ask for your password!

Link: Try the password strength test to see how quickly a password can be cracked

Protect your money

  • Only make online payments over a secure Internet connection.
  • Use reputable websites when shopping online.
  • Do not click on links in email ads. Move to the site by typing the address directly in your browser’s address bar.
  • Use a credit card for online shopping whenever possible. If you have paid by credit card and the goods do not arrive, you can reclaim your money directly from the credit card provider.

Protect your information on social media

  • Do not share your personal data or other important information online. They can be used to break into data systems and perform identity theft.
  • Avoid sharing your location on social media. This way, criminals cannot learn that your home is empty and unattended.
  • Stolen accounts are often used to spread scams, subscription traps and phishing messages on social media. If you receive a suspicious message from a friend’s account, check with that friend to make sure it came from them.

Children’s safety online

  • Talk with your child about what applications and web services they should and should not use. Take an interest in the websites your child visits.
  • Make time for a conversation with your child about online safety. This way, you can learn if your child is puzzled or worried about something online.
  • Tell your child about online and offline safety.
  • For example, make sure they know that giving information like their phone number, name or address or sending pictures of themselves to a stranger is not safe.
  • Agree on shared ground rules concerning electronic devices and web browsing.

Read more about improving your own cybersecurity on the Finnish National Cyber Security Center’s website.