How To Keep Yourself Safe Online
With cybercriminals, hackers, malware, and scams, the internet can be a very dangerous place for those unaware. Knowing how to keep yourself safe online will help you to protect your personal information, your devices, and your friends and family from the consequences of a cyber-attack. Keeping yourself safe online does not have to involve complex and time-consuming measures; making simple changes can help you hugely increase your digital security.
Use Complex Passwords
Using complex passwords is one of the most effective ways of protecting your personal data online. A strong password is one that has over eight characters, with a mixture of the upper and lower case. To have a strong password, you should also use a combination of letters and numbers and at least one special character. You should use a different password for each of your internet accounts and make sure to change your passwords at least once a year.
You might also want to set up two-factor authentication for your online accounts. This will provide you with an added layer of security, as a code with be sent to your phone before you can access an account.
Be Wary of Public WiFi
When using the internet, you should be very wary of where your connection is coming from. Specifically, you should be extremely careful about what you do when you are using public WiFi. This is because public WiFi is usually not encrypted; this means that anyone who wants to can see what you are doing online.
If you are using public WIFI, you should also consider using a VPN or a Firewall to provide you with an additional layer of protection.
Be Careful Where You Click
As Networking Solutions explains, you should always be very careful about the links and downloads that you click on. This is because a link might look trustworthy but might, in fact, be a malware attack. Cybercriminals hide malicious software in links to trick unsuspecting internet users into downloading the link. Once downloaded, a cybercriminal might be able to infect your computer or access your personal information. Therefore, you should always be wary of links and avoid downloading anything off the internet unless you know that it is authentic.
Updating your software regularly is a very useful habit as it will ensure that you are always benefiting from the latest security patches. You should make sure to always update your phone, tablet, or computer as soon as a new systems update is launched.
Be Mindful of Where You Are Shopping
Before putting in your payment details at checkout, you should make sure that you are using a secure website. Every secure website begins with HTTPS and will have a padlock symbol in the URL field. These signs show you that a website is using encryption to scramble your data. This means that a website is secure, and you are free to input your personal information.
Some websites might appear to be legitimate but are, in fact, malicious copies of authentic sites. You should be mindful of anything that seems suspicious such as spelling mistakes. Always be mindful of a website’s security before you enter any personal information.