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Tech tips

Security tip: 3 dumb mistakes putting you at risk online

Presented by TotalAV

Presented by TotalAV

Get an annual plan of TotalAV Internet Security for only $19 — over 85% off!

You might think you have a solid cybersecurity plan. Maybe you use strong passwords and defensive measures like VPNs and firewalls. But even the strongest shield gets dented from time to time.

That’s why brushing up on the basics from time to time is good. There are countless threats you need to watch out for. After all, the AV-TEST Institute alone says it detects over 450,000 new malicious programs every day.

We put together some easy mistakes you might be making right now. You might discover a weakness that puts you and your computer in danger. Thanks to our sponsor, TotalAV, you can scroll down to stay safe!

1. Leaving your Wi-Fi network or router unprotected

Few things make a cybercriminal salivate more than an unsecured Wi-Fi connection. It’s a simple way for them to steal a little broadband.

If they feel particularly nefarious, they can use your network to attack your gadgets. How about stealing your personal information? They could even download dangerous files or visit illegal websites through your router.

Weak Wi-Fi protections put the lives of one British couple on pause — right in the middle of the pandemic. They couldn’t work or support their children. According to BBC, a monster used their Wi-Fi connection to upload child abuse material to an online chat site. That led the police straight to their front door.

Don’t let that be you! Step one: Create an original password that’s hard to crack. After that, we have a few more helpful tips for you. Tap or click here to lock down your Wi-Fi and protect your home.

While at it, ensure your router has a robust, secure and unique password. You’re not alone if you haven’t considered your router a vulnerability. Two years ago, the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team alerted Americans about Russian hackers attacking “a large number of” home routers in the U.S.

This wasn’t a one-off thing, either. Router attacks are anything but rare. Tap or click here for five essential router security settings you need to check now.

2. Using the same PIN for your phone lock screen as your bank

We get it. You don’t want to remember different number codes. They’re easy to forget, so you want to keep it simple and reuse the same PIN.

Don’t give in to temptation. It could lead you to financial ruin. Say you’re relaxing in the coffee shop, and you open your phone. Someone standing behind you could notice your code, write it down and start using it to access your bank account within minutes.

To protect yourself, use different PINs. If you’re struggling to remember them all, consider a password manager. Tap or click here for more details on this easy trick.

3. Clicking ads and downloading what you find on the page

This is an easy way to hurt your computer. If you see an item you like in an ad, it’s best not to click it. You are better off heading to your search bar and visiting the brand website itself. There, search for the item in the ad.

Sure, it requires a few extra steps, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. After all, it’s super easy for cybercriminals to create malicious ads. They might even masquerade as authentic companies to get your guard down.

That’s why you shouldn’t click on ads, even if they look safe and legitimate. Instead, find the source yourself.

Bonus: Not protecting your devices with antivirus software

Cyberattacks are on the rise, and the more we rely on our devices for work, school and personal lives, the more we have to lose. Whether it’s bank accounts, personal data, photos or conversations, there’s just so much to preserve and protect. That’s why we recommend TotalAV.

TotalAV’s industry-leading security suite is easy to use and offers the best protection in the business. It has received the renowned VB100 award for detecting more than 99% of malware samples for the last three years.

Not only do you get continuous protection from the latest threats, but its AI-driven Web Shield browser extension blocks dangerous websites automatically. And its Junk Cleaner can help you quickly clear out your old files.

Right now, get an annual plan of TotalAV Internet Security for only $19 at That’s over 85% off the regular price!

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