If you ask the average person what the best ways to protect themselves online are, they will give some true answers — but they will likely be different than the answers you'd get from a security researcher. Here's the difference.
Google, in a paper they're presenting at the Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security this weekend, asked two groups — experts and nonexperts — what they do to stay safe online. While the nonexperts provided some good answers (like using antivirus software), the experts placed certain items as much higher priority, as shown in the above graphic.
The experts prioritised keeping your software up to date, and using two-factor authentication, two things that did not appear on the nonexperts' list. Most importantly, however, the experts noted that strong passwords aren't enough: you also need to use a different one for every account you have, which means you probably also need a password manager to keep them all straight.
If you're more like the second column than the first, then good for you! Be sure to share this with the nonexperts you know. The more we can make those columns look alike, the better off we'll all be.
New Research: Comparing How Security Experts and Non-Experts Stay Safe Online [Google Online Security Blog]