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Defending Privacy: TDS’ tips to stay cyber-safe

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month–the perfect time to give your accounts and devices the protection they deserve, and learn about the current threats you face online. While there is no surefi re way to guarantee you won’t be threatened by a cyber- attack, TDS has some guidelines that everyone can use to fight back against unwanted cyber-intrusion at home–the most important of which is protecting your privacy.

Privacy on the internet is one of the most important pillars of our interconnected world. Whether it be your online medical records, your credit card information, or simply the password to your email, hackers will gladly take anything they can get.

Here are three tips, from TDS, to help you improve your privacy on the internet while also potentially thwarting internet thievery.

• Passwords are like toothbrushes: you should be changing them regularly. Although changing passwords may feel like a chore, having a solid, new password could make a difference if a data breach occurs. In addition to changing your passwords, sites like and Google Chrome’s Password Checkup extension are both tools you can use to see if an email or password exists in any databases of stolen information.

• Know the difference between secure and unsecure sites. Website addresses that include HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) are less secure than sites that begin with HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure). HTTPS websites includes an encryption layer that allows for secure transfer of information between servers and browsers.

• Accept those security updates! Yes, having to quit what you’re doing for the latest software update can seem like a real pain; but those security updates are a small price to pay for peace of mind while using your devices. Often the updates include patches to “holes” in the security software of the device. They are also the way technology companies are staying one step ahead of any “bugs” or gaps hackers are looking to exploit.

Above all else, remember that cyber-attacks can happen whenever, wherever, to whomever–so stay vigilant and protect your online privacy.