Top Tips for Staying Safe Online- Part 1

08 Sep 2015

Top Tips for Staying Safe Online- Part 1

As a security guy, the most common question I find myself being asked is, “how do I stay safe online?” Unfortunately, this is a very difficult question to answer as there are so many ways to add security to your online footprint. Therefore, I have written this article in an attempt to tackle what I see as the most effective methods to protect you from falling foul of computer crime.

Internet Browsers

There are so many browsers available these days that it is almost impossible to choose the ‘best’. Each browser has its own attributes. From a security perspective the most common browsers (Firefox and Chrome) are much the same. Statistically Firefox has the highest number of vulnerabilities in its code, however, these vulnerabilities are usually fixed within 28 days, and Chrome has a similar number of vulnerabilities, which are usually fixed within 14 days. Further comparisons could be made in regards to their performance, efficiency and usability, but the deciding factor will simply come down to personal preference as it would be difficult to find any startling differences.

Regardless of which browser you choose, there are a number of plugins available for improving security such as AdBlock and Disconnect, as-well-as anti-virus solutions such as AVG that often have their own plugins which warn you against visiting unsafe web pages.

In conclusion, the browser you choose is not the most important factor in staying safe online. Pick one, keep it up-to-date and install a couple of plugins to increase your security.


Passwords are the most common security gateway, however, they are also the most easily misused means of protection. Users have been trained over the years to create long, complex passwords which are almost impossible to remember, yet these passwords are often deceptively easy for a computer system to guess. To prove it, we’ll use the following examples;

  • O;sh+sd”JQKD#
  • I’ll_be-BACK!

Password 1 is a strong password. It contains all of the recommended character types, it’s difficult to guess and it’s a good length (13 characters). Password 2 also has all of these properties, the only difference is that you are more likely to remember the famous words of Arnold Schwarzenegger than a random bunch of letters, numbers and symbols. For this reason, you’re also less likely to write it down and use it for every website you create an account for, thus making it a better password.

Password Managers such as LastPass are also an excellent way to keep passwords safe. These applications are installed on your devices and keep your passwords safely stored where only you can access them with two-factor authentication. Using these systems mean you can have very long, complex passwords which are different for each of your accounts, however you won’t need to remember any of them as long as you have memorised the master password used to access your stored credentials.

The tips for improving security in this article are by no means exhaustive, however they are a great start for staying safe online. The Executive Cyber Awareness course provides a much more comprehensive syllabus for protecting your online identity, and I would highly recommend taking this course if you seek further security advice.


PGI believes that cyber security doesn’t need to be overly complicated, incomprehensible or vastly expensive. We specialise in delivering cyber security services and protection, and offer a range of training courses to upskill your staff to tackle cyber threats in-house.

 Want to know how secure your business is, or methods in which you can improve? We offer FREE cyber consultancy for all businesses, large or small. Please register here and a member of the team will be in touch.

For more information on how we can help, please contact us at or call us on 0207 887 2699

    Share this article


    Your free global geopolitical
    risk dashboard

    PGI’s Risk Portal tool provides daily intelligence feeds, country threat assessments and analytical insights, enabling clients to track, understand and navigate geopolitical threats.

    The Risk Portal gives users up-to-date information and analysis on global affairs.

    The Risk Portal allows users to visualise information in a unique and instantly understandable way. Mapping filters enable the visualisation of incidents by threat category, time period, perpetrator and target type.

    Risk Portal users can upgrade their accounts to include the Report Builder and Country Profile Generator features. The Report Builder allows users to select information, data and images from the Risk Portal and create bespoke reports and emails.

    Subscribers to PGI’s Bespoke services receive tailored analysis on specific sectors and geographies of interest, delivered at a frequency they determine.

    Visit the Risk Portal

    GDPR Services

    Making ongoing compliance easier for you and your business

    GDPR is now in force. Make sure your business meets the necessary requirements, providing assurance for all of your customers and employees.

    PGI GDPR Services

    A full audit of your business to assess the level of your compliance against GDPR requirements.

    Become GDPR compliant with minimal work. We will conduct an analysis, review, report and implement any necessary changes to your business.

    We will conduct simple security assessments to help you understand and mitigate the potential risks to your business.

    Find out more on GDPR

    Compliance Services

    Get your business ready to face the cyber challenge.

    We provide a full range of accredited, certified and bespoke services that assess the resilience of your cyber security posture.

    PGI GDPR Services

    PGI’s Qualified Security Assessors (QSA) will help you meet Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).

    Find out more on PCI DSS

    Demonstrate your commitment to cyber security by achieving and maintaining accreditation for the globally-recognised information security standard.

    Find out more on ISO 27001

    Expert assistance on the implementation and maintenance of governance requirements for personal data.

    Find out more on GDPR

    Find out more on Compliance

    Vulnerability Testing

    Understand the threats of phishing and malware to avoid being targeted.

    Undertake our phishing vulnerability assessment to reduce your organisation’s risk of attack, by measuring the cyber awareness of your workforce.

    Malware & Phishing Services

    PGI will conduct a tailored phishing campaign, using multiple methods, to identify realism and train employees where necessary to mitigate future attacks.

    PGI monitor multiple metrics to identify the types of phishing, generate in-depth analytical reports and provide an informed decision to help improve your organisation’s level of security and awareness.

    Find out more on Vulnerability Testing

    Cyber Security

    Prevent attacks, respond to breaches and protect your business.

    Our bespoke range of cyber security services not only protect your critical assets but provide the education you need to keep your operations and data safe.

    Cyber Security Services

    Implement this cost-effective cyber security measure launched by the government to prevent cyber-attacks, demonstrate information security commitment to your clients, and attract new business by being recognised as a secure organisation.

    Find out more on Cyber Essentials Accreditation

    The most effective way to identify how attackers target your organisation’s weaknesses is by evaluating your system, your network security, and reporting on any vulnerabilities that could have an impact on your business.

    Find out more on Penetration Testing

    If your business has experienced breaches, network compromises or operational disruption, our team of cyber security specialists can deploy quickly, and will begin the process of detecting and eliminating the threat efficiently.

    Find out more on Data Breach Response & Recovery

    In the event of a computer security investigation, a vital part of the response process is making a copy of your data for safe forensic analysis. We will work with you to preserve and use this evidence to discover the extent of an intrusion.

    Find out more on Digital Forensics

    Browse our Cyber Security services

    Data Breach Response & Recovery

    We prevent attacks, respond to security breaches, and protect your business

    Our team of specialists can deploy quickly and efficiently to begin the process of detecting, eliminating and preventing future threats of a breach.

    Malware & Phishing Services

    A vital part of the response process is making a copy of your data for safe forensic analysis. We will work with you to preserve and use this evidence to discover the extent of an intrusion.

    Find out more on Digital Forensics

    We will identify and minimise the risks, as well as the possibility of future risks to your business.

    Consistent interaction with your management team and recommendations on how to approach all outcomes that need attention.

    Find out more on Data Breaches

    Subscribe to our Cyber Bytes Newsletter

    Keep yourself in the loop with PGI by signing up to our Monthly Cyber Bytes email. You will receive updates, tips and narrative around what has been happening in the world of information security.

    Get in touch today

    For more information on how we can help you or your business, please contact us via:

    Related News

    International Womens Day - Pioneering Women in Tec...

    08 Mar 2017

    Pioneering Women in Technology – Katherine JohnsonThe Oscar season has been and gone. The...

    Read news article

    Law Firms and why they need cyber security

    07 Sep 2018

    Why Law Firms need Cyber Security. Suffering a data breach can be devastating! From the experts at P...

    Read news article

    Content from the expert - GDPR and Cyber Governanc...

    12 Jul 2017

    Will there be a knock on effect regarding the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) after the UK...

    Read news article
    Back to the News Hub

    +44 (0)207 887 2699
    ©2019 PGI - Protection Group International Ltd. All rights reserved.
    PGI - Protection Group International Ltd is registered in England & Wales, reg. no. 07967865
    Address: Unit 13/14, Swallow Court, Sampford Peverell, Tiverton, England, EX16 7EJ