WSVN — It’s no secret we live in a connected world. And while there’s no surefire way to keep computers safe from harm, there are mistakes you may be making that can increase the chances of tech trouble. 7’s Lynn Martinez loads this week’s List. 

The more you log on, the more opportunities you have to make mistakes that put your sensitive information at risk. 

Computer consultant Leeor Geva says there are things we’re doing wrong, online and offline. 

First on the list, a browsing blunder.

Leeor Geva: "If there’s no padlock, it’s just open for anyone to read."
If you’ve never paid attention to this little padlock icon, it means personal info you enter on a website is encrypted, or protected, from identity thieves. So do business like banking or shopping only on websites with the padlock. 

And speaking of being security savvy, your old anti-virus software doesn’t cut it anymore. 

Leeor Geva: "These days it’s not enough to just have an anti-virus. With all cyber security threats, you don’t want to know when you have a virus. You want to stop the virus in its tracks."

To do that, you’ll need to purchase something called internet security software, which scans for threats before you download them.  

Leeor Geva: "It’s a huge mistake not to have a backup, because first of all, computers fail all the time."

Just make sure your external hard drive is actually connected and regularly backing up. But because theft or fire could destroy your backup’s priceless digital memories, Leeor recommends also purchasing cloud-based backup from a trusted company. 

If you’re like many people, you may have a password problem. 

Leeor Geva: "Passwords are the number one issue I hear about. People hate passwords."

Instead of trying to memorize them all, password managers store your numerous combinations online using one master password or even your fingerprint. It’s important to do your homework to find a company with very high ratings and strong security.  

The fifth tip, when doing Internet searches for customer service, phone numbers, or websites, don’t fall for impostors. 

Leeor Geva: "You can search for one company and get an advertisement for another company, and think you are talking to the first company you were searching for." 

And if you get a random call from someone telling you your computer is infected with a virus or malware, hang up the phone! Scammers use this trick to try and get money from you, or worse, take over your computer. 

And finally, it may seem like common sense, but if you don’t lift your computer off the floor and onto a desk or other elevated place, it can get water damage from spills, a pipe burst, or flood from a South Florida soaking or tropical system. 

Lynn Martinez, 7News. 

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