Cybercrimes are increasing at an alarming rate. Internet users are now more vulnerable. This is the time to be very careful and suspicious of everything and anyone you interact with online. I don’t mean that you become paranoid, I am just saying that you should be extra cautious for you to be safe online.
In the news, there are reports of bank frauds, data leaks, and inappropriate photos of people leaked online every now and then. Online crooks are swift and persistent. They are very patient and are always waiting for you to let your guard down.
It is high time you took your online security more seriously just as you avoid visiting dangerous neighborhoods and streets.
Here are a few tips to help you protect yourself online and offline.
- Limit the Amount of Personal Information you Share
Oversharing your information be it location, personal dramas, private photos and videos, children, emotions, and your every move makes you a prime target. The sad thing is that not only hackers are dangerous; a colleague, an ex, or a nosy neighbor can as well make your life online a living hell.
Keep in mind that everything you post online has the potential of reaching millions of people around the world. This information also stays online for good. With technology changing every day, who knows what scammers and hackers will do with all the information you share.
- Make Use of your Browser and Mobile Operating Systems Security Features
Social media sites and marketers make money through your personal information. The more they know about you, the more money they make. They do not care whether you want it shared or not. So long as it is available, they leverage it.
However, these browsers and sites have privacy options that are often hard to find.
Meticulously check for privacy settings in both web browsers and mobile operating systems. Look for the privacy settings before doing or posting anything and enable them.
You could also use browsers, such as Brave, that protect you from online trackers and bots.
- Update your Devices and Internet Browsers
Because hackers and scammers are tech-savvy and ever on the lookout, devices and browsers offer regular updates to keep users protected.
The pop-up that usually comes up asking you to update your computer, mobile, or software is annoying, right? As annoying as it may be, please do not ignore it. It is for your own protection. Failure to update makes you vulnerable. You risk losing your information and accounts.
These device and software updates are meant to improve, enhance and fix bugs or loopholes that have been identified.
- Use Updated Antivirus and Firewall Software
Just as updating your devices and software, antivirus software needs to be updated constantly.
New viruses are made constantly so as a rule of thumb, update your antivirus!
- Browse Safely
The internet is invaluable for our daily lives. From learning, keeping up-to-date with news to ordering products such as copiers and printers from Etech. However, you cannot afford to just browse anyhow.
There are many scammer sites on the internet. How do you browse safely?
- Adhere to browser warnings. Browsers will often let you know of fake or scam sites.
- Be on the look-out for exaggerated sites and content. Original and genuine content is kinda boring:-) Right?
- Be careful about Ads and hyperlinks
- Again! update your browser and plugins
- Block pop-ups
- Use Ad Block plugins
- Regularly clear your web browser cache and cookies
- Use a VPN if you are using public wifi
With these precautions in mind, it is my belief that you will not let your guard down.
- Use Strong Passwords
Choose strong but easy-to-remember passwords. I know this sounds cliche but it is what it is. Use your unique creativity to create passwords that cannot be easily guessed and that you can remember.
Passwords are a weak link when it comes to internet security. Understand that cybercriminals/hackers are always online and can predict a lot. You are born different, use that difference to create unique passwords and a unique life too. Ha!
As for password managers, there is a debate on their safety. So to be safe, have strong and easy-to-remember passwords. Additionally, regularly change your passwords as advised by HSBC bank.
- Download only from Reputable Sites and sources
We download stuff every day. Most of the things we download, we do not even think twice.
Who does not want to watch or listen to the newest song before others? Here is where hackers capitalize on. They know you want things for free and instantly.
In the next blog, we will have a look at how to spot legit sites. Because there are so many scam sites out there that we use on a daily basis just because they are free.
Whoever coined the phrase that cheap is expensive knew exactly what he or she meant. Convenience and security can never go hand in hand in the digital space.
Well, there you have it. The internet is a wonderful place to be. However, there are precautions that you have to be conscious about if you want to learn, grow and enjoy life.