For many, the internet is both a blessing and a curse. This is because it can be used to enhance and transform your life, but it can also be intrusive in several ways. Therefore, it’s crucial that if you are going to use the internet, you become more conversant when it comes to best practices. By doing so, you should find that you’re far more secure when online for any given purpose. On that note, here are top tips for staying safe online that should go a long way.
Understand What Cyberthreats Are
In order to protect yourself online, you’ve got to know what exactly you’re protecting yourself from and why. This may require that you show a little more interest and research a range of cyber threats. Phishing attacks are one, for instance, which is when hackers use deceptive links as a means of downloading malicious malware on your device and stealing your information.
Aside from phishing, there’s also cross-site scripting, the SQL Injection attack, and Denial-of-service to mention a few.
Don’t Store Sensitive Information
If you tend to keep highly sensitive information stored in your email or online, you should be finding ways to safeguard it. The last thing you want is to find that your account has been broken into and your details are then used for identity theft or other criminal activities. Here are a few ways that you can protect your information online.
- Don’t Overshare: Although it’s great to be social online, try and refrain from sharing too much information, especially on social media platforms. Sensitive information can refer to your date of birth, your mother’s maiden name, or your pets name. If possible, remove any traces of such information just to be on the safe side.
- Avoid Responding to Requests: Another tip would be to avoid responding to strange requests. This could be someone asking you for personal or account information online or via the telephone. Banks, charities and government organizations can all be imitated, so try and verify before interacting or sharing anything.
Use a VPN
If you’ve never heard of a VPN before, it’s essentially a virtual private network that gives you the privacy you need when you’re using a public network. If, for instance, you’re at the library working for the day and using their network, you may want to use a VPN as an added layer of security. Having said that, shop around for the best VPN out there as there are so many that you can choose from.
Protect Your Passwords
As tempting as it may be to use the same password across all of your accounts, it isn’t a wise decision to make. This is because if someone can access your password, then they have access to sensitive information across all of your platforms.
Safeguard It at All Times: To protect your passwords, avoid storing them in places people have access to. If you write it in your notes and your devices are hacked, then said hackers would have access to your information. Write it down in a notebook that is tucked safely away instead.
Change it Often: As you likely already know, you also should make an effort to change your password often so that the likelihood of the wrong person getting access to your accounts drastically reduces. When choosing a password, stick to ones that would be almost impossible to guess because they have a range of capital letters, numbers, and symbols.
Don’t Open Strange Emails
As mentioned above, phishing has become prevalent online. For this reason, to protect yourself online, try and avoid strange emails as well as clicking on links that you don’t recognize. Don’t be deceived by a catchy headline or an incentive as it could be put together by a hacker.
Back up Your Storage
Aside from the mentioned, backing up your storage space prepares you for the event that you are hacked and your data is compromised. There are so many ways you can back your data up which includes storing it on the cloud. You can also go the traditional route of storing it in a hard drive if you’d prefer to.
Software updates aren’t suggested just for the fun of it. When you don’t update your software, you make yourself vulnerable to threats and attacks online. So, whenever you’re prompted to perform a software update, make sure that you do. Even if you aren’t prompted, you can check manually to ensure you’re up to speed. This, in addition to all of the other suggestions, should ensure you’re safer online.