Practical Ways to Keep Yourself Safe While Using The Internet
Learn to protect yourself while on the internet
With the rapid rise of technology and the internet, our lives have become more convenient and connected. However, the convenience that comes with it also comes with perpetual risks from cyber-attacks to online scams to identity theft, to mention a few. Therefore, we have to take some precautions to keep ourselves safe online because it is becoming more important than ever, as the internet continues to play a central role in our lives.
Here are some practical ways to keep yourself safe online:
1. Use Strong Passwords
Using strong passwords is one of the easiest ways to keep your online accounts secure. A strong password should contain at least 8 characters, a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using personal information like your name, birth date, or address in your password. Also, do not reuse passwords for multiple accounts, as a data breach in one place can put all your accounts at risk.
2. Look for Encryption or Secure your internet connection
Before making any sort of financial transaction online, look for signs that show whether the website is encrypted or not. To do this, look for two things: the trusted security lock symbols and the extra “s” at the end of HTTP in the URL or web address bar. When you are on the page that’s asking for your credit card information, the “HTTP” changes to “HTTPS” when it is a secure site.
At the same time, a lock symbol will also appear on the right side of the address bar or at the bottom left of your browser window. These two signals show that the site is encrypted, which means nobody will be able to see information as it’s sent to the website owner. This keeps your name, phone number, address, credit card number, and other sensitive information from being seen by anyone else.
3. Install Security Suites
Security suites are security programs that keep dishonest people and programs from infecting your computer and stealing information and data from you. This includes blocking harmful software such as spyware, viruses, and phishing scams that can be installed secretly when you are online.
Some of the popular security suites include Norton Antivirus, McAfee Virus Protection, Ad-Aware Pro Security, and AVG Internet Security. Be sure to purchase and install one of these suites to protect your personal information online.
4. Turn on Web Browser Blacklisting
The lack of internet security is partially due to the internet browser being used. Many web browsers have additional security options such as blacklisting. This allows you to set the criteria for sites you will be navigating; only secure, trusted sites will be available to visit.
5. Avoid and watch out for Phishing Scams
Phishing scams are a common way for cybercriminals to steal personal information and passwords. These scams typically involve emails or messages that appear to be from a trusted source but are actually fake. Be wary of emails or messages that ask you to click on a link or provide personal information. If you receive an email from a company that you do not recognize, do not click on any links, and delete the email.
6. Get Private Data Protection
Another way to protect your online identity and sensitive information when sharing it online is to get private data protection. This type of security suite will protect any private data that is included in emails, private messenger programs, social media sites, or various blogs. By employing a private data protection suite, you can further prevent hackers from gathering your personal information.
7. Keep your computers and mobile devices up to date
Keeping your software, including your operating system, web browser, and any applications, up-to-date is important for keeping your devices secure. Software updates often include security patches to fix known vulnerabilities, so it is important to install them as soon as they are available.
8. Be Careful About What You Share Online
Be mindful of what you share online, as anything you post can potentially be seen by others. Avoid sharing sensitive personal information such as your full name, address, phone number, and financial information. Also, be careful about what you post on social media, as it can be used against you in the future.
9. Enable Cookies on Your Web Browser Only When Required
Another option for setting up your browser to protect your online data is by enabling cookies only when required by a website. These cookies are detailed websites stored on your computer, including information about what sites you visit and what you do there. Most of them keep the details to themselves, but this is also a way dishonest people get your information. You want cookies to be enabled, but limit them only to websites that require it.
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