Tag Archives: Facebook

Are you using protection? Using HTTPS to keep your private information private

Places that offer free wifi usually have un-encrypted (or open) wifi connections to make it easy for customers to connect.  Unfortunately that also makes it easy for people to steal your information and even take control of your accounts.  If you would prefer that didn’t happen then read on…

httpsIf you’ve ever done your shopping or banking online, you may have noticed a small “lock” icon appear in your address bar, or that the address bar has turned green. This indicates that your browser is using a secure connection (“HTTPS“) to communicate with the website and ensure that the information you send remains private by scrambling the information being sent from your computer to the website.  

Without HTTPS your information is being broadcast in clear text, picked up by people nearby and can be used to capture your passwords or take control of your accounts.

Not all websites need to use HTTPS.  Encrypted pages take longer to load and are more expensive to set up.  

But if you’re using public Internet access points found at coffee shops, airports, libraries or schools sites,  are being asked  for credit card numbers or other personal information and don’t see a secure browsing connection then you need to just walk away.  If buying something on that site is a must then do it at home where (hopefully) you have your access point secured with a password or, better yet, pay by check.  

The good news these days is that most of your favorite websites such as Facebook,  Gmail and Twitter have figured out that this is a big problems and now use HTTPS by default – nice work chaps!  

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Staying Secure on Facebook

asset.f.logo.lgIf you have any concerns about security of the computer you’re using while accessing Facebook you can have them text you a one-time password to use instead of your regular password.  

Simply text “otp” to 32665 on your mobile phone (U.S. only), and you’ll immediately receive a password that can be used only once and expires in 20 minutes. In order to use this feature, you’ll need a mobile phone number in your account.

k4023952This is a great way to make sure you enjoy a relaxing cup of joe at the airport without the need to hunch over your keyboard.  And since many other sites allow you to log in using your Facebook credentials this can help keep you safe on other sites too!

Of course if someone steals your phone and knows your email address (it’s in your phone address book right?) then this might be a simple way for them to get in – so hold on to that phone for dear life!

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Filed under Computers, Online Security, Technology