These days, almost everyone is online for one reason or another – work, business, or even just enjoyment. From scrolling on social media to online banking, being part of the age of the internet also means that you likely have some sort of online account – and therefore some online data that you want to protect. While using the internet in our day-to-day lives comes with plenty of benefits, there are also cyber criminals that we need to be mindful of. So before you click out of this page and continue your browsing, be sure to check out FFB Bank’s seven suggestions for staying safe online!

Strengthen Your Passwords

For every account you make and every device you use, you’ll want to keep them password protected. After all, the password you use will act as the first line of defense from potential hackers. This is also why you want to make sure that your password is as strong as possible by using a combination of at least 10 characters, including both uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. You’ll also want to have a different, unique password for every account you create, taking care to change them regularly so that you can keep hackers guessing. If you’re worried about forgetting all those various passwords yourself, you can always turn to a secure password manager that will safely keep track of your passwords for you by storing them in an encrypted database.

Enable MFA

If you want to add an extra layer of security to keep hackers out of your accounts, then you’ll want to turn on multi-factor authentication, aka MFA. Multi-factor authentication works by requiring an additional piece of identification beyond your password to access an account. This form of identification is also something that only you would be able to have, such as a biometric like face ID or your fingerprint, a mobile push notification, or a one-time code sent to your phone number. This way, even if a criminal is able to get past your passcode, they’ll have to have one of these metrics in order to get through to your account. Plus, you’ll know about a hack attempt as it’s happening if you get an MFA prompt while you’re logged out of your account.

Make VPN Your New Best Friend

Being in a world where everyone is online also means that there are internet connections available almost everywhere you go. However, not all networks are created equal. In fact, it’s best to be cautious when connecting to public networks and hotspots as many are unsecured and can’t protect your data from prying eyes. If you want to make sure that your Wi-Fi connection is safe no matter where you are, then using a VPN is the answer. With a VPN, you can enable a secure internet connection while ensuring that your data is being encrypted, so only you will have eyes on your browsing.

Check Your Settings

Any web browser, app, device, or account will have settings options available to help protect your online privacy. The thing is, some of these settings may be harder to find than others – especially with a site or app that uses your personal information for marketing purposes. That’s why it’s best to search for these settings and configure them to your liking so that you can have control over how your data is being used. Not only that, but you should take care to check these settings regularly to ensure that they’re still set the way you want them to be.

Think Before You Click

 “Think before you click,” is a pretty common phrase when it comes to online safety – and for good reason. One of the most prevalent ways that cybercriminals try to access your data is through fake, malware-containing links that may appear in emails, popups, or download attachments. Remember to never click on anything unless you can verify that it came from a trusted source and that it will lead to a legitimate website. If you still don’t know whether you can trust a source, there are a few ways to double-check. If you want to know that a website is secure, you can start by checking if a link begins with https:// and that the padlock next to the search bar is closed. Of course if you get an unsolicited link or attachment through email, don’t do anything, and contact the person you think it’s from to determine that it’s authentic. The minute you think something is off while you’re surfing the web, checking your email, or online shopping, it’s best to the close the webpage or delete the email message to keep yourself safe.

Keep Software and Data Up to Date

 Yes, it can definitely be an inconvenience to have your computer rebooting for 15 minutes while it installs updates. Yet, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. No matter how inconvenient, those few minutes spent updating your software could make a huge difference in keeping your device and your data safe. For every software update installed, you’re taking the right steps in ensuring that your devices have the latest security measures to protect against hackers. Aside from keeping your software current, you can also make sure to copy your data and store it on a secure back up device so that it can be easily restored in a worst-case scenario. Additionally, you can add on to your device’s security measures by installing a trusted antivirus program to run regular security checks and help keep your device as safe as possible.

Think Before You Post

 The internet isn’t all work and no play. For decades now, social media has become an integral part of our modern day lives and it’s increasingly common for people to have one or more social media accounts that they use regularly. In a world where we’re excited to connect with others and post about anything from our latest vacation to last night’s dinner, it’s good to stay mindful about what you’re revealing to the world. Before sharing anything online, take a second and consider if your post contains any personal identifying information that could be used for fraudulent purposes – such as your driver’s license, email address, home address, phone number, credit card number, etc. The best rule of thumb? If you wouldn’t share those personal details with a stranger face-to-face, then don’t post them online.


 Nearly everyone has a digital footprint that they leave behind, and that also means that lots of us may be susceptible to digital attacks. Of course, the best way to avoid falling victim to cybercrimes is through education. When you know what red flags to look for and the best practices for online security, then you’ll be well-prepared to fight off any hackers who come your way!