The internet has become a crucial part of everyday life. Almost everything, including work, study, shopping, socializing, dating, and a magnitude of other activities, can be done online. This makes your online security paramount. Read on, to discover some simple and effective tips, to maximize your defenses.
Fend Off Attacks With Antivirus Software
This is crucial to protect your computer from malicious software. The internet is infested with viruses that can damage your computer, spam you with advertising, and steal personal information. The best defense is technology that can detect and remove these threats.
Have a look at the different kinds available. Popular software includes Norton Internet Security and AVG, however, you should do your own independent research when selecting one. Most require a subscription, however, there is still a lot of free software that can do a satisfactory job.
Guard Your Computer With A Firewall
Firewall software acts like the gatekeepers to your computer, only letting certain programs in and out. All incoming and outgoing connections are checked for malicious activity. This is a great way to protect the information on your computer. However, this doesn’t protect what you send and receive online, for that you will require a VPN.
Conceal Your Data With A VPN
Every day you likely send and receive sensitive information online. Now, what if hackers could access this data. Utilizing VPN (virtual private network) software, when accessing the web is an excellent way to protect yourself. This technology encrypts all data that is sent and received, making it safe from hackers.
Another advantage is that it can conceal your location. This is achieved by disguising your IP address, making you appear to be in a different country. While not necessarily a security benefit, it is useful for accessing web pages that may be restricted in your country.
Be Careful In Public Places
When out and about, you don’t want to leave your computer unlocked when you get up for a break. You may be working at a cafe or studying in the library with a public wifi outlet, but no matter the situation, it’s extremely easy for someone to quickly access your computer while you away. Simply lock your computer before walking off. If you’re using a communal computer, then merely log out.
Don’t Showcase Personal Details To The World
Be careful of over-sharing personal details online, especially on social media and forums. Never post details such as your address and phone number publicly. There are a lot of unsavoury people lurking around online, who can use this personal information for identity theft and other crimes.
Imagine posting your contact details on a public forum. Thousands of people, that you know nothing about, could potentially view that information. It’s likely that you would only get spammed, however, the wrong person could take it a step further. Remember, EVERYONE is on the internet, and not all of them are good people.
Don’t Get Caught By Phishing Scams
Phishing emails are scams designed to either acquire site login credentials or personal information. If you receive an email from a bank, or other institution, asking for confidential details then ignore it. Some of these scam messages will contain a link to an official-looking website. These are phony sites designed to steal your username and password. Many phishing emails come in the form of a PayPal message, instructing you to login to your account to resolve some made up issue. They will include a link to a fake PayPal site.
Devise A Strong Password
If your password is your birthday, then something needs to change. A strong password should be at least eight characters with a combination of numbers and both uppercase and lowercase letters. It should in no way be based on your personal information. But just one password isn’t enough. Think of ALL the sites that you log into, including Facebook, online banking, PayPal, and your email. If you use the same password for each one, and it gets compromised, then a hacker can access everything. Having two or three STRONG passwords is a much better and safer idea.
Hopefully, these tips have been useful for you. With modern life being so dependent on the internet, your online security is more important than ever. Don’t take any shortcuts, make sure you are completely protected.
Joanna is the Senior Editor for InformedMag and is passionate about security and tech. She has been working in the home safety and security field for 5 years. Joanna loves to travel and enjoys going to hot yoga and Barre classes. She is dedicated to creating articles that both educate and help people make an informed purchasing decision.