The world at large, today celebrates ‘Safe Internet Day’. However, 5th Feb. is not only safe internet day, but it is an everyday priority. The year’s campaign’s slogan, “Together for a better internet”, is a call to action for all stakeholders globally to join together and play their part in creating a better internet for everyone, and especially for the youth.
Today PC Tech Magazine looks at 5 basic tips to stay safe online.
With hacks, scams, malware, bugs, data breach—the internet can feel like a dangerous place and a hazard to our lives. And, with the rapid increase of smart devices and IoT (Internet of Things) appliances, it has opened us up to even greater risks. But the good news is that by taking just a small handful of security measures you can greatly reduce your exposure to some of these threats. Basic security knowledge is always key, to better internet usage.
Thus, here are our 5 tips;
1. Create Complex Passwords
Strong/Complex passwords has been stressed out a lot, but still some internet users can’t abide. Creating strong and unique passwords is the best way to keep your personal and financial information safe. This will save you from being a victim of hacks, scams among other threats. It is also advisable that you don’t use the same password to all your accounts. This is especially true in the era of widespread corporate hacks, where one database breach can reveal tens of thousands of user passwords.
If you reuse your passwords, a hacker can take the leaked data from one attack and use it to login to your other accounts.
So: Avoid using the same password to all your accounts, and Use strong and unique passwords.
2. Ensure to have the latest updates
This is one major security concern — always be updated. Keep all your software updated to have the latest security patches. Matter of fact, turn on automatic updates which will make sure that your security software is set to run regular scans and if an update is found, it will be updated automatically for you. However, this is not 100% safe as well, sometimes updates come with bugs that pose risk to your privacy, therefore, report as soon as you notice something fishy.
So: Turn on automatic updates so you don’t have to think about it regular checks up and updates.
3. Your Network Security and VPNS
Whether it’s home or work, always see that you use a password-protected router that encrypts your data. Limit the number of people that can have access to your network, avoid over sharing the password, and also change the password more often.
On the other hand, there’s free public Wi-Fi. There’s no doubt that we are tempted to us it, but using free public Wi-Fi comes with consequences. One of its problem is that it’s often unsecured. This means it’s relatively easy for hackers to access your device and vital information. So! considering in using Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection could be a good/better option.
So: Have password protections on your routers, and consider using VPNs while on free public Wi-Fi.
4. Email with caution
To be honest, it’s with no doubt that one of the most common ways malware is distributed is through your emails. Hackers create sophisticated emails that typically contain an attractive Ad that draws you into their trap. Alternatively, you may receive an email from say a friend or a co-worker whose computer has been compromised — and within it carries this malarwe that does affect your computer as well if downloaded.
These emails contain enticing links and/or attachments that, when clicked upon, may trigger malware downloads or take you to websites that try to steal your personal information. Therefore, if you are suspicious of any email, it is better to mark it as spam. Also remember there are those emails that sounds too good to be true — those are probably traps that you should avoid, and report immediately.
So: Be cautious when checking your emails.
5. Shopping Online, Use Secure Sites
Any time you make a purchase online, you need to provide credit card or bank account information—and this is just what cyber-criminals want, and if they get their hands on this info, you’re a goner.
Only supply this information to sites that provide secure, encrypted connections. Websites whose URL come with HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure where the S stands for secure). In addition, always clear your cache after shopping.
So: Encrypted connection is key to online shopping.
Customize your privacy settings, go incognito, purchase an anti-virus software, keep your private information limited, use two-factor authentication.