ImevP1ay! – Secure online12. November 2019 Published by Raphael Doerr
Germans spend an average of three hours a day online – not only at work, but also at home. Whether on a smartphone, tablet or desktop PC, the Internet has become a vital part of our everyday life – for checking bus schedules, booking rail tickets or quickly paying a bill by bank transfer. Yet 19 million Germans have already fallen victim to Internet crime. So it’s high time to adopt the right protective measures when surfing onine!
E-mail from your favorite online retailer
Fraudulent e-mails are growing in prevalence and many look remarkably genuine. The sender is often PayPal, Amazon, Zalando or a bank. If you suspect that an e-mail is not from your favorite shop, you should never click on links or file attachments. You shouldn’t reply to such e-mails either, by the way. A look at the online shop’s or bank’s homepage helps ascertain whether or not the e-mail is from a trustworthy sender.
“I most enjoy visiting Paris once a year!”
What has the “City of Love” got to do with password security? A lot! Long passwords are bothersome, but badly chosen ones are still the most-exploited security gap on the Internet.
The rule of thumb is:
- Use a different password for each login account – and not the same one for everything
- It should be at least 10 characters in length and contain lower- and upper-case letters, numbers and special characters
- It should not be associated with you in any way or found in a dictionary
You can make up secure passwords and remember them very easily with a mnemonic. Simply think up a sentence with eight words and always remember the first letter. “I most enjoy visiting Paris once a year!” then becomes the password “ImevP1ay!”.
The German Federal Office for Information Security provides further tips here on how to create secure passwords.
Despite strong passwords, there is the recurrent problem that sensitive data is leaked on the Internet; moreover, such scams and ruses proliferate at a terrific pace. The Hasso Plattner Institute at the University of Potsdam offers a service you can use to see if your own e-mail address has been hit by data theft. At https://haveibeenpwned.com/ you can even check whether you’ve already been the target of hacking. If you have, there is only one remedy: Change all your passwords as soon as possible.
Do you want to upload sensitive data to third-party websites? Not a good idea! It’s important to ensure encryption is used. If the URL begins with https://, it’s far more secure than one that begins with just http://. Data should only be transferred via known and secure systems. Incidentally, USB sticks can also be encrypted if data is stored on them.
Networks should always be protected by a password. There’s the risk of data being stolen in open WLANs at hotels, public places, train stations and airports, or even in your personal sphere. You should not enter any sensitive information, such as bank and credit card data, while in them. An open network can easily be used by fraudsters to obtain personal data.
If you observe these tips and tricks, you can also get a lot done while out and about with your Gigaset smartphone – whether it’s buying a new case for your smartphone, sending a photo to grandma or booking your next vacation. And don’t forget our tip for a really secure password: “1SfGmsf!” – a smartphone from Gigaset makes surfing fun! 😉