How to Stay Safe Online
Today more than ever before, we depend on the internet to keep in contact with family and friends and to share photos and posts about our life happenings. Regardless of whether you use Safari or Google Chrome, proper web surfing takes research and practice before it is perfect.
One of the most common mistakes people make when web browsing is clicking just about anything without surveying the legitimacy of a link or site.
Fortunately, a couple wrong clicks won’t bring you any physical harm, but it could definitely infect your computer with nasty malware.
Careless clicking could compromise the safety of your online presence and online confidentials, so understanding how to surf safely is of the utmost importance every time you log in. Follow these key tips and tricks to ensure you’re always protected—work or play.
Creating Complex Passwords
Anytime you’re signing up for a new service or membership is the first step to protecting yourself from malicious virtual invaders.
Strong, unique passwords are the hardest codes to crack and hack, so be sure to always include a variety of uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and special characters when creating your password.
Never choose something as obvious as your last name of the word “password” itself. Think of it this way: the stronger your password, the less likely you are to fall victim to a breach.
Be wary of using the same password for all of your accounts, too. If you’re worried about forgetting your many complex passwords, enlist the help of a trusted password manager to keep track for you.
Boosting Network Security
Boosting Network Security is another way to increase connection security.
When you’re stationed at home or in your office, you’re likely connected to a password-protected router. When you’re out at a coffee shop or an airport, your only option may be public Wi-Fi connections.
However, these connections tend to be the least secure, meaning that a hacker could easily infiltrate your connected devices.
Ever wondered “what is VPN”? It could be your public web surfing saving grace. Short for a virtual private network, VPNs create secure internet connections that also offer users peace of mind.
Installing an AdBlocker
Installing an adblocker gets rid of advertisements hanging out on your sidebar and ousts any temptation to click any malicious links.
Without any nasty pop-ups or adware flooding your screen, you’ll be able to surf safely and soundly. However, ad blockers can’t protect you from everything.
The same way you use your street smarts to stay safe in the real world, practice safe browsing by only visiting legitimate sites.
Using a firewall functions as an extra electronic barrier that bars any unauthorized intruders from accessing any of your personal information and files.
Firewalls are usually included with most popular security software, so if you have already spent money on an antivirus service, chances are you’re also firewall protected.
Using a firewall also ensures that devices like your webcams and smart thermostats are protected from outside invaders.
Being Careful with the Information You Share
Being careful with the information you share could drastically improve your internet safety. If hackers out to guess passwords can easily find your dog’s name or the city in which you tied the knot, you may have given them the keys to your account without even knowing.
You can either monitor the information you share on social media or you can make smarter and more bulletproof passwords. Another thing to look out for is identity theft hackers.
With your images, date of birth, and family members listed on your Facebook, you may be incredibly easy to impersonate. Be sure to modify your visibility settings for the highest level of protection on social media.
Practicing Safer Online Shopping
Practicing safer online shopping procedures could protect yourself against unknowingly handing your credit card and bank information over to someone who claims to be a certified iPhone vendor.
Always be sure that the site you’re purchasing from uses encryption. You’ll know if the site is encrypted if the site address states with “https” rather than “http”.
Keep an eye out for the padlock symbol next to the site address—that’s another indicator that the site is safe.
Above all else, you should always remain vigilant when surfing the web. Keep your guard up and question everything before clicking or downloading. Practicing safe surfing will save you and your precious devices from any headache down the road.