15 Practical Tips To Stay Safe On The Internet
The Internet offers many opportunities, but it’s not a safe place for anyone. There are thousands of online exploiters who are just looking for a vulnerability. If you are not prepared yourself, you can’t blame others for getting hacked or exploited. Even the giant tech firms and powerful institutions like the CIA get hacked and they never find the culprit.
Since you don’t have any nuclear codes on your computer, there is no need to worry about those hackers making an effort to hack you. You just need to make sure that you don’t willingly show them a weakness. Here I have shared everything you should know to ensure your online security.
Most Common Threats from the Internet
Some might wonder how the internet can hurt them. First of all, you should know that hackers can’t remotely explode your computer. That said, there are many other ways they can make your life difficult.
Ransomware is a type of virus that is used for ransom. Once they get it inside your system, a ransomware locks all your data or locks you out of the system. All your data is encrypted and you need a key to decrypt it. You get a notepad file that gives an address on the dark web where you have to transfer a specific amount of money to get that decryption key.
Most people have memories of years stored in their computer and some have data from their work. Either way, many of them are left with no other choice but to pay.
Spyware is the kind of virus that silently spies on your activities. It can record all typed keys, browser history, voice, location, and video through the camera of the device. This means they get your personal information without you knowing it.
They might sell this data to someone else or ask you for ransom. While some people can take the loss of old data, they can’t afford their personal and sensitive data to get out.
Malware simply makes it difficult for you to use your computer. They don’t ask for any ransom or collect your data; they just destroy your data. Some people use malware to open ads on your website. It can be very annoying at first, and then you lose your data.
1. Avoid Using Public WiFi
You give access to the admin to see your internet traffic every time you connect to a public WiFi. You should avoid using it as much as possible and keep your own internet device with you. While not everyone is trying to hack you, some might be attracted to weakness. There might be some hackers connected to the same network as you, which makes their job very easy.
2. Ethernet is the Safest
WiFi is easy to hack. On the other hand, a wired network is limited to few people in a limited area and much more secure. It’s easier to monitor who is connected to the network and which port he is using. WiFi does not offer that kind of security. This is why you should get Ethernet adapters from UGREEN for your devices. These adapters will allow you to connect any device with wired networks.
3. Teach Your Kids About the Danger
Kids are most vulnerable on the internet. They are bound to make mistakes and you can’t blame them. The best you can do is teach them about all the threats on the internet. Let them know what to share and what not to share and how some people might try to manipulate them. You can also take extra precautionary measures mentioned next to ensure the safety of your children.
4. Monitor Your Children
You can install monitoring programs on the computer and mobile phones of your kids. These programs will allow you to see what they are doing when connecting to the Internet. Some of them even allow you to monitor the location and use the microphone of their device. This ensures you are always with them and know where they are and what they are doing.
5. Discuss Spam with Elderly Relatives
Just like children, elderly relatives are also prone to online threats. They are not very good with technology and easily fall for scams. Many people take advantage of their innocence and get their credit card information. Make sure you tell them how some people email, message on social media, and convince on a webpage to share this information. No matter how good an offer, don’t let them provide sensitive information.
6. Do Not Trust Strangers
You should not trust strangers in real life. On the internet, you are even more likely to get trapped by nice people. No matter how trustworthy someone sounds, you should not put trust in a person you met on the internet. They might ask for personal information or a meet-up after they have befriended you. It’s best not to take any risk.
7. Beware of Phishing Pages
Phishing pages look exactly like some popular or similar website. Many people create phishing pages to trick people into providing their login or credit card information. For example, there was a time when Facebook phishing pages were very common and people would send their login information to the wrong person.
8. Only Open Trusted Emails
Email scams are very common. People use familiar email addresses and act like some officials. Most commonly, they act like bank representatives warning you about something. You are asked to open the link and log in to your bank account to fix the issues. They get all that information if you fall for it. There are also many other email scamming schemes.
9. Use a Strong Password
A strong password is more important than most people think. Many hackers use techniques like Brute Force to try every single alphabet and alternative until they get the right combination. There are now much more advanced techniques to hack passwords.
However, a complex and lengthy password that contains numbers, alphabets, and special characters can’t be hacked unless the hacker has some powerful supercomputers. Make sure that your password doesn’t contain any name that can be guessed after finding the first few alphabets.
10. Don’t Use One Password Everywhere
It can be difficult to remember more than one password, but it’s not wise to use one password for all your emails and social media accounts. This means if they get one password right, they get access to everything you have. If they get access to your official emails, they can reset passwords for all other accounts that were created using it. This includes the account for online banking.
11. Watch What You Post
Your social media posts give a lot of information about you. You might not have noticed but platforms like Facebook also share your location with the public when you update a status. This means anyone can tell where you are and what you are doing. You should not share too much information and make sure that only trusted friends can see your posts.
12. Shop Only From Safe Sites
You would know one or two big sites that are best for shopping. Most probably Amazon is one of them. You should only use these trusted websites for safe online shopping. If you are paying for the delivery, then it’s no problem. However, if they are asking for online payment in advance, you should think twice. Even if they are not scammers themselves, their weak system could be hacked by someone else, compromising your data.
13. Keep Privacy Settings On
All browsers and social media sites offer a privacy setting. Most of them have a default setting that doesn’t give you a lot of privacy. They give that option because they are legally obligated to. They want to share as much of your information as possible for better advertising. However, this data can also get into the hands of the wrong person. You have to visit the settings section and change them yourself.
14. Always Read Privacy Policies
You don’t even realize how much access applications have on your mobile phone. They can’t just see your data, but also manipulate it. Most apps don’t even make sense why they need that kind of access. You would get to know what permissions you are giving them if you read the privacy policies. Although they are long and boring, you should make a habit of reading them. If you don’t trust an app with the permission it’s asking for, you should not install it.
15. Use a Data Backup Program
Even with all the measures, you can never be 100% safe. You should follow all the tips shared in the article and then prepare for the worst. Backup all your data to a safe location every day. This way, even if someone hacks into your computer, you can just reset it from the root and restore your data from the backup. Many computer programs can automatically backup your data without any hassle.
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