With the increasing number of cybercriminals, scams, malicious files and more, the internet can be a rather dangerous place to navigate. And with the ever-growing number of smartphone and tablet users, this has increased the online risks tenfold.
However, the good news is that it is possible to dramatically reduce this risk by simply implementing several handy security measures. Below are the 11 internet safety rules that everyone must follow.
Internet Safety Rules
1. Create Complex Passwords
Creating strong and unique passwords is very important in this new era of corporate hacks, where a single data breach can result in thousands of user passwords being compromised.
In addition, if you use the same password across multiple accounts, hackers can use it across all your accounts once they have access to that password. The best thing you can do is invest in a password manager. These tools are designed to help you in storing and creating complex passwords for your accounts.
2. Multi-Factor Authentication
Another thing for you to look out for is multi-factor authentication. So, for example, if you were to log into your account, you’d be required first to enter your password. From there, a passcode will be sent to your mobile phone, which you’d need to enter as a second password to access the account.
3. Use a Firewall
A firewall is either a piece of software or a hardware device designed to block unauthorised access to your computer network and often forms an integral part of any network security setup.
When you have a firewall setup, you can be sure that your networked computers are secure. This is especially important for Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as webcams and intelligent thermostats, becoming more popular by the day.
This is so important because most IoT devices don’t have any form of internet security built into them. So such devices are always vulnerable to hackers.
4. Keep Personal Information Short and Professional
Customers and potential employers don’t need to know personal information such as home addresses and marital status. They do, however, need to know about your professional background and the various ways that they can contact you.
Individuals won’t give personal information to a random stranger, so why leave it out on the internet for millions of people to see.
5. Phishing Scams
The average user is likely to have a financial account, so being aware of phishing scams is essential. The main objective of the vast majority of phishing scams is to obtain the sensitive data of their victims illegally. Part of this process can sometimes involve infecting a system with a malicious file.
When they get onto the system, such virus files can end up damaging the computer in more ways than anticipated, resulting in damage costs. There are several steps one should take to avoid falling prey to such scams:
- Make sure never to open any emails that appear suspicious.
- Never give out sensitive information, such as passwords and bank details, in an email.
- If you spot any suspicious online activity, then you should report it.
6. Keep Your Guard Up
You should always be careful about what you do online, which means monitoring the kinds of sites you visit and what kind of information you’re sharing on social media platforms. You also want to have security software installed and have a backup plan in place, which ensures consistent and regular backups.
By taking just a few security measures, you can protect yourself and your system from malicious files, identify theft and other forms of financial fraud.
7. Make Online Purchases on Secure Sites
Whenever a purchase is made on the internet, information such as credit card details or bank account information must be provided – which is just the information cyber criminals are after.
For this reason, you should only give such sensitive information to websites that are secured with encrypted connections. Fortunately, it is possible to identify such websites by the HTTPS: in their web address. You can also see a padlock sign next to the URL.
8. Be Careful Who You Meet Online
Many people you interact with online may not be the person that they make themselves out to be. And in some rare cases, they may not even be a natural person.
For example, fake social media profiles are a very popular tactic to interact to steal data. For this reason, you’ll want to be as cautious online as you would when meeting someone in real life.
9. Be Careful What You Download
One common goal of cybercriminals is to get their victims to download a malware program inside it. Such malware can form part of a program or be the program.
For example, you can find malicious files disguised as computer games or programs. For this reason, you should always look at the credibility of the website when deciding whether or not to download something from it.
10. Keep Up to Date
Keeping all of the programs up to date is very important. For Windows, you should enable automatic updates. Whether you’re on a tablet, mobile or desktop system, that way, it can handle all the updating on its own. Also configure your internet security software to run regular scans.
11. Protect Your Mobile Data
Your mobile phone is as vulnerable to threats online as your laptop and desktop unit. In addition, mobile phones and tablets face new threats, such as malicious files laced inside dangerous apps sent via text messages.
To protect yourself, you should be careful of what you click on while refraining from responding to strangers, and only download apps from official sources, after reading reviews about it.
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