There can be barely anyone reading this article who has not, in some way, had their life altered by the outbreak of Coronavirus, and what that has meant for how we live our daily lives at the moment.
Many of us, if we can, are working much more, or entirely, from home. If we are unable to work, many more of us are probably spending more time online. Either way, our online time has more than likely significantly increased over the past few weeks.
The other thing that has also potentially increased over the past few weeks is our anxiety levels. Anxiety about how likely we are to catch the virus ourselves, in our household, or in our family. Anxiety about just when and how the restrictions to our daily lives that most of us are living under are going to be relaxed. Even when they are, we are possibly anxious about just what kind of normality we will be returning to.
On top of that physical, real anxiety is also the potential for us to worry about how we temporarily convert our usual day-to-day social and physical interactions into ones that are compatible with communicating exclusively online.
Much has been made of how certain tele and video conferencing tools that we have all started to rely on are compromising our personal data and security [cnet article]. Personally, I have found that whichever platform I’m using tends to be quite flaky and the sound or picture either freezes intermittently, or connection is lost. That’s probably as much to do with local, broadband capacity as it is with the servers being run by the communication platforms themselves, but either way, it is frustrating in a world where our social interaction is already being so severely limited.
Stick to the basics
The problem potentially comes when we get frustrated and, on an impulse, sign-up for something new to try and find different ways of communicating with our friends when all else has failed. We can either be tempted to try un-proven applications and software, or become more lax about how we sign-up and drop some of the good personal online security habits that we should always follow, but that have actually become even more essential in these unusual times.
This time, more than any, is a great time to stick to the 5 basic rules for good online security.
If I were to pick just 2 to help you focus on at the moment, they would be:
1 Never re-use the same password more than once, and
2 Always keep your operating system and antivirus software up-to-date
As ever, we’re here with more than just words to help you to keep safe online, with practical explanations of what all the various online terms mean, and real-world practical (often free) solutions to help you take just that very next step to making your online life just as enjoyable, but that little bit safer too.