Although the internet has brought untold benefits to hundreds of millions of people opening up access to information and entertainment that were unthinkable even 30 years ago, there are also risks associated with using it. Like any marketplace, there are unscrupulous people looking for opportunities to steal your data, compromise your privacy, or otherwise target you for their own nefarious ends.
That is why everybody should consider taking appropriate measures when the use the internet.
Here are 20 Internet Safety Tips
Always use unique passwords that are memorable for you, but cannot easily be guessed by somebody else. For example, avoid family names, birthdays, names of favourite pets or sports teams. Expert recommend a mixture of letters and numbers, using both upper and lower case characters.
Do not write down passwords where others can easily store them or save them in a location where others can access them. The best place to store them is in your memory but, if that is too difficult, choose a file or folder which is either encrypted or hard to find.
However, secure your passwords, they should be changed at regular intervals to stay one step ahead of the hackers.
As a further precaution, do not use the same password for very site. Vary them so that, if the hackers do succeed, they can only get access to one site and repository of information.
Never give anybody your passwords or suer names over the phone. A common scam is for somebody posing as a representative from a bank or other respected institution to ring up and ask for information such as passwords or account details. A genuine bank would never request such data in a phone call.
Make sure that you have anti-virus software installed on your computer or device. It helps protect against viruses and their transmission, blocks spam and unwanted ads, helps defend against hackers, and ensures protection from removable devices.
Anti-virus software should be regularly updated because new viruses are being created all the time. Relying on an old version of AV software could create a false sense of security.
Dependent on how sensitive your data is, and how much its loss or compromise would mean to you, then you may consider paying for premium AV software. Whilst there are perfectly decent free versions, they may not be designed to deal with the more sophisticated viruses that some hackers have developed.
Whilst system updates can be a pain to install, often taking up valuable time, consider then as a necessary evil. They are software manufacturers -like Microsoft – way of keeping up to date, and also ensures a modicum of protection against the latest malware.
Only visit reputable sites online, and trusted operators. Cyber criminals know that people are tempted by dubious content and may try to lure them in with lurid adverts or enticing offers.
For example, when if you are interested in online gaming, choose one of these safe online casinos 2021 .
Remember the old adage – if it seems too good to be true, it then it is almost certainly is the case.
Similarly uses should be very careful about clicking on links, even on reputable sites. They may be used for phishing attacks by hackers. Again, if in doubt, then do not click.
If you go online in a public place using a public Wi-Fi connection you have no direct control over your security. If you need to do anything confidential like online banking, it is better to ait until you have a secure connection.
Use a VPN
If you must use a public internet network connection, make sure you use a secure VPN (#(Virtual Private Network_ to ensure that nobody else can monitor or access your data.
Although it sounds like a place of mystery and intrigue, stay away from the Dark Web, even though you may know how to access it. There are no safety ropes there and you will be exposed to things that you do not want to see or know about.
Restrict Personal Information
When using social media, restrict the personal information that you post online. Only share such details with family, friends, and people that you know personally.
Keep Privacy settings On
Take control of your own information by keeping your privacy settings on at all times. They help restrict the amount of data that marketers can get to know abut you. Social media platforms like Facebook offer privacy enhancing settings, although they are sometimes made hard to find. Take the time to find out how to apply them.
Think before you post
Any comments or content that you post on social media are there forever – deleting them will not erase any copies that somebody makes of it. So, watch your language, and do not indulge in abusive behaviour of any sort because it may come back to haunt you.
Similarly, with pictures that are posted online. Showing your drunken antics at a university party may seem fun at the time, but is not so enjoyable when a prospective employer comes across them five or ten years later. And it happens much more often than you might think.
Be careful who you meet online
Be careful who you meet online as not everybody is who they claim to be. This is something that parents of children need to be especially careful of as there have been numerous cases of paedophiles grooming potential victims by pretending to be the same age as them.
Only make online purchases from secure sites
Purchasing anything online means that you need to provide credit/debit card or bank account details. Only provide this information to sites that use secure encrypted connections and through a recognised payment gateway.