You can save yourself online by using passwords that are strong, by avoiding clicking on strange links, and by backing all of your data. Here we discuss 10 of the most crucial guidelines for being safe online.
Do not open unknown email
There are a lot of times when you get an email that has malware attached to it. You do not even have to download it fully for it to do the damage it’s supposed to cause. That is because these programs can install malware in the system without your agreement to use them.
There are some times when these downloads may be disguised as any simple system update or a simple question with a yes/no option. So you need to double-check where the email comes from, whether it looks like spam or is suspicious in any other way. Also, it is a good idea to stop yourself from allowing access to emails that are unknown.
Keep your devices updated
If you do not have your web browsers, devices and security software set to automatic update already, turn these automatic updates on. These updates comprise important fixes and patches for the security flaws in your applications or gadgets that have been discovered recently. Scammers and hackers always try to find loopholes in the systems, and security software teams create updates to cover those loopholes.
Create Strong Passwords
Identity theft is a serious issue and there are a lot of ways to protect yourself from such a crime, one of which is using unique passwords. Even now, people use simple passwords such as “123456” or “Hello” which are easy to crack and hack. Also, people keep their pet’s name as a password which is also very easy to guess as it carries personal information.
To create a strong password, use some unique combinations of words and numbers which are not easily guessable and are not a name of an important day or a person. An abbreviated sentence or a phrase is often better. You can also use a password manager to generate unique and strong passwords for all of your accounts. To increase the security of your passwords, change them several times a year. And never use one password for multiple platforms.
Integrate Two Factor Authentication
Two-factor Authentication is a way of protecting your device or app where after you have logged in by username and password, you will be asked to prove your identity. A code may be sent to your mobile device to validate your identity. It is sent either on your number or on your email. Sometimes, you have to answer a personal security question. Or you may use a special key or app.
If two-factor authentication is available on your devices, use it. It may take you some extra seconds to log into your accounts but it keeps them secure.
Keep away from Unusual-looking links
Certain viruses often spread into the system because a link is clicked on the internet, be it in your email or on some site. Links that look weird and strange are often viruses and harmful. If you receive one from anyone that you trust (via email or messages), ask them if they sent it on purpose or not. There is another way to check if the link is valid or not if you want to free yourself from the hassle of asking your family: copy the link into a reliable checker, but don’t click on it even if you’re not sure what it’s about. It’s better to stay safe than sorry.
Try to not use unsecure Public Wi-Fi
Try to not use public Wi-Fi as it makes you vulnerable to hackers and people who want to access your private information. If it is a must for you to use it, try to not type any important personal information such as SSN or your bank account details on any website. Try to use a VPN when browning on public networks so that your IP is masked and not visible to anyone. This will also provide encryption for the data that you send and receive, making it hard for hackers to intercept it.
Keep backing up your data on a regular basis
If you become a victim of a virus attack, all your data might get erased. So to keep that from happening, back up your data on a regular basis. If your information is backed up, then it is not a big deal if it gets erased and you will not lose any important files.
Be financially sound
When entering sensitive information online, such as your credit card number, be cautious. Make sure the website’s URL begins with “https” before making a purchase or registering. The “s” is significant since it indicates that your connection is encrypted. If a website doesn’t have this, don’t buy anything from them.
You should also be cautious about storing your financial information on websites where you make purchases, even if you do so frequently. In the event of a data breach, all your crucial details will end up in the hands of hackers. It’s safer to type all the details each time instead of saving them on the website.
Teach your family and friends
You can take all the necessary precautions for your home network security, but if your family who uses your network is not keeping everything safe, your efforts may not be enough. Make sure that everybody who utilizes your network on a regular basis understands how to maintain it safe. Online safety can also be taught to children and elderly family members as those are the most vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Do not share personal information
You might be surprised by how much harm criminals can do with just a little personal information. Be it some details you’ve shared on your social media, details gathered through a data breach, or details you spilled to your online friends – every little bit can be used against you.
Never give out personally identifiable information, such as your full name, address, or bank account number, to strangers you meet online. When generating usernames for random websites, don’t put your true name. Try to avoid sharing your true DOB and location if possible. Don’t forget about how much information you give out in surveys or online forms. If you enjoy talking to strangers online, use Nuwber to see if they are being honest with you about who they are.
It may appear that being secure online is difficult, but it is not. If you’re still learning how to defend yourself against hackers or scammers, simply approach online communications like any other interaction with a stranger on the street. That is, you are unlikely to open anything they offer you, hand them your credit card, or provide them directions to your home. The same rules can help you be secure while surfing the web.