How To Stay Safe Online: 12 Internet Safety Tips You Should Know
The internet is a fantastic resource for information, entertainment, and education. With so many benefits to be gained from using the web, it’s no wonder that millions of people around the world are spending more time surfing the net than ever before.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to stay safe online and limit your exposure to cybercriminals. The following tips will help you stay safe while using the internet:
1. Use a Secure VPN Connection
A VPN is a virtual private network. It creates an encrypted connection between your device and the server that hosts the website or service you want to connect to. This means that your data is hidden from anyone who might be trying to see what you’re doing online. It also hides your IP address so that it is harder for people who are tracking you (e.g., advertisers) to find out where you are physically located at any given time.
2. Avoid using public Wi-Fi
You should never connect to public Wi-Fi networks unless you have to. These networks are risky because they don’t encrypt your data as opposed to private ones which do encrypt your data. Anyone who is around the network can see what you’re doing online including your banking information and other sensitive data.
3. Use Strong Passwords
Strong passwords are important because they prevent hackers from accessing your accounts by guessing your password using brute force methods.
Make sure that all of your passwords are at least 10 characters long, and contain letters, numbers, and other symbols. Don’t use personal information like birthdays or names in your passwords either.
Remember to use different passwords for each site so that if one site is compromised, others aren’t affected as well.
4. Keep private information secret
Don’t share sensitive data on social media, even if it seems like everyone else is doing so — there are always some people who aren’t thinking enough about their privacy to protect themselves from identity theft or other malicious activities that may arise from posting personal information online for all the world to see.
5. Check what permissions an app has before installing it on your device
Some apps ask for too many permissions, which might make them suspect since they could be used for malicious purposes like stealing sensitive information from your device or even taking control of your device remotely without your knowledge. Always check the reviews before downloading an app.
6. Use two-factor authentication:
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a type of security process that requires users to verify their identity using two different means before being granted access to an account or resource. For example, when logging into Facebook, 2FA requires users to enter their password as well as a unique code sent via SMS or email before they can gain access to their account. By requiring this extra layer of security, 2FA prevents hackers from gaining access to accounts even if they know your password alone.
7. Use antivirus software
Antivirus software scans files downloaded from the internet before they are opened to ensure they are safe.
Antivirus software also helps protect your device from viruses, malware, spyware, and other malicious programs that can steal your information or damage your hardware.
8. Update your operating system and apps regularly
Operating systems and apps often receive security updates that close potential vulnerabilities in the software so hackers can’t exploit them to gain access to your device. Updates should be installed as soon as they become available because they close off potential attack points as soon as possible.
9. Keep track of your accounts
10. Think before you click
Don’t click links in emails from people you don’t know and beware of attachments from strangers as well as unexpected emails from people you do know. If something doesn’t seem right about an email, don’t respond. Instead, forward it to the person who supposedly sent it and ask if they did send it — then delete their message from your inbox so they don’t think you’re ignoring them.
11. Be careful with your personal information
Don’t give out your bank details or credit card numbers unless you’re sure who you are dealing with. Never put yourself at risk by giving out any personal information such as your home address or phone number unless necessary, especially if buying goods or services online or selling items on websites.
12. Pay attention to what you’re entering into websites and apps
Many phishing attempts look like legitimate sites or apps that are designed to trick you into entering personal information. Make sure that any site asking for personal information is secure before answering any questions or clicking links.
In short, the internet is an amazing place. It brings people together in ways that were never before possible, and it offers access to a breadth of knowledge like no other medium can. But everyone is vulnerable online, and no one is as great or powerful an entity to ensure your safety as you are.
Always be vigilant while online. Focus on staying safe while browsing, sharing information, or posting content of your own. Above all else, always be mindful of the fact that you are representing yourself whenever you interact with the web.