Cyber Security Tips

If you’ve ever worked as designated family tech support, then you know the pain and trouble which this task can represent. Mistakes are made, and you end up spending far longer fixing this issue than they did create it in the first place.

With that in mind, here’s a quick list of concerns which every new or uninitiated computer user should be aware of to keep themselves safe. For best results, print this out and hand it to those who need it, as lessons on paper remain steady while lessons taught can fade from memory.

Watch The Installs and the Installer

Installing programs from the internet can be a danger because of how many modern installers work. While you might very well be getting the exact program you want, it is also very common for installers to try to slide in additions like browser toolbars or other programs at the same time as detailed by These are often held to lesser safety standards than the main program and can be actively harmful.

Because of this, you will want to be sure to select the ‘advanced’ or ‘custom’ option when installing something new, as this will usually reveal the extra add-ons which should be deselected before the install begins.

“e – Installer – Review products before i” (CC BY 2.0) by labnol

Keep Malware Installed and Up to Date

Anti-malware software is a necessity in today’s world and should be included in every system you use. A lot of these are free and easy to use like the very well regarded Malwarebytes, but be aware that they will only be operating at max capacity if they are up-to-date. Automatic scans and updates can usually be scheduled from within these programs, so be sure to keep them enabled.

Understand Real and Fake

A nasty email trick which sometimes works is phishing, usually through fake messages designed to look real. Luckily, these are usually simple to detect, as explained by just look for emails which end in a combination of letters and numbers rather than a clearly defined address. For example, a legitimate email from something like Apple may come from an address such as:

[email protected]

Whereas fakes often appear similar to:

[email protected]

If in doubt, and it is a good idea to always be in doubt when it comes to unsolicited emails, simply Google the exact address or message and you will usually find an answer as to whether or not the supplier can be trusted.

If in Doubt, go With Trusted

The range of offers and opportunities when it comes to websites and online services are vast but this often comes with the issue of which can be trusted, and which are little more than honeytraps. Before signing up to a new website, be sure to check around for reviews and accolades, as the lesser of these will often sell your user information or be so incompetent as to have it leaked accidentally. This happens over almost every form of service, especially those which deal with money, so, for every secured website like, there are many which are not so trustworthy. Keep this in mind and check ahead.

Haste Makes Waste

Computers and digital devices can be annoying slow, but this is usually for good reason. Being frustrated or short of time can easily lead to users abandoning good practices in favor of something quick. This is almost always a bad idea, and can easily put a wrench in the works of any of the above tips. Remember that diligence is key, and eventually, these lessons will become second nature.

Cybersecurity is an ongoing process, and if you understand that your online experience will be much more reliable and, as a bonus, a lot less expensive.