In addition to the general guidelines below, you can refer to more tips for online security on our security FAQs here
Create strong passwords
Passwords are a way that companies protect access to your most important information. With Optimum, your password helps you manage your billing preferences, devices and much more. Using strong passwords will help ensure your personal information remains safe.
Here are three quick tips to get the most out of your password:
- Try creating "passphrases" instead of passwords. A passphrase is created by picking a phrase or random words you will remember like "Live to laugh out loud" and reproducing the phrase using a mix of upper and lowercase letters, abbreviations, and numbers. "Live to laugh out loud" becomes "L1ve2laf0L".
- Use multiple passphrases. We recommend three. One for financial sites, one for social media and a third for everything else. This will protect you if one of your passwords is compromised.
- Never share your passphrases with anyone who shouldn't have it, particularly online or over the phone and resist the urge to reuse passwords you have used before.
Viruses and Malware
Keep your devices virus-free
Computer viruses can slow down your computer and in some cases may put your personal information at risk. Make sure all of your favorite devices are protected by installing strong anti-virus software. Optimum Online customers can protect themselves by downloading our Internet Protection software at no additional cost.
Additional ways to protect your computer from viruses:
- Be cautious of emails and attachments from unfamiliar senders as many viruses are spread by simply clicking on an unknown link or attachment. Don't reply to a questionable email or provide personal information in any way.
- Make sure your computer software is up to date since outdated software leaves your computer vulnerable.
- Think twice before you click. Enticing ads for free software are often links to malware. Only download applications from reputable locations.
Protect your identity
Phishing scams are a common way people are tricked into providing personal information via email. Commonly, the email appears to come from a trusted source, like a large, known organization, and asks recipients to click on a link in order to verify or update contact details or credit card information. Doing this may install software on your computer that exposes personal information from your computer.
- Think twice before clicking on links in emails. If you are suspicious of the sender, or other recipients copied on the email, do not click on the link. Simply delete the message.
- Spelling and bad grammar. Many phishing emails will contain spelling mistakes, which can be a red flag since large companies are unlikely allow a mass email with errors to go out to their users. If you notice mistakes in an email, it is likely to be a scam.
- Download strong anti-phishing software because if you are unprotected, your personal information may be accessed fraudulently. Optimum Online customers can download best-in-class internet protection at no additional cost.
Family Online Safety
Involve your family
Here are some tips to keep your family safe while using the Internet:
- Set up the computer in a high-traffic family area and limit the number of hours your children spend on it. Be sure you have strong computer security software with built-in parental controls to monitor and/or limit access to certain online content.
- Remind children that people they meet online are strangers. Advise them to never post information or photos that may reveal their identities (for example: city or school names on shirts), and never to meet face-to-face with strangers met online.
- Sign a family agreement for appropriate online behavior. You can find templates for such agreements online. Your children should agree to not reveal any personal information, never meet anyone in person, and to let an adult know if they find themselves in an unsafe/uncomfortable situation.
Secure your router
Routers add the ability to share your internet connection throughout your home and add some security features. Today, most routers add wireless networking (WiFi) capabilities. It is important to configure your router to ensure your security.
Here are some helpful tips to help you secure your router and wireless network:
- Change the Default Password used to by the administrator of your router. If you are using a router not supplied by Optimum, make sure your password follows the rules above.
- Secure your WiFi network with WPA2 security and a strong network password. If your WiFi network is not properly secured, others can access it. When unauthorized users are on your network, they add traffic to your internet connection and slow down your access. They may even have access to other computers attached to your network.
- Keep your router up to date. Routers run software called firmware just as your computer and devices do. Occasionally this software requires updates. Remember to update your router's firmware periodically. If you are using a router provided by Optimum, we take care of this for you.
Guard your mobile devices too
Today's smartphones and tablets help us stay connected throughout the day, even outside the home. The information stored on your mobile devices and the services you access could be at risk if your device is compromised or stolen. To protect your mobile devices:
- Only use trusted application stores such as iTunes, Google Play or the Amazon marketplace. Third-party application sources may not have checked the content for malware.
- Set a device auto-lock password or code so that unauthorized users will not be able to use your phone or access your data.
- Back up your devices regularly and use a security service to locate or wipe lost/stolen devices.