The digital world can be as treacherous as the real one. Unfortunately, the daily news about scammers, hackers, and cyber-attacks has become usual from past many years now. On top of this, the inception of COVID-19 has made the use of the internet an inseparable part of our lives. Online education, online shopping, remote work, and much more fall under the “new normal” category. The lucky ones who know little about internet security tips may see this new dawn of the digital age as a convenience and comfort-enhancing change.
Even if you feel secure with your browsing experience, remember that hackers are always there to look out for personal information they can use to access your private and confidential details, such as credit card and bank information. So, now when websites and apps play nearly the role of breathing and drinking in most people’s daily life, the relevance of safe internet browsing tips and rules have increased rampantly.
Some security tips for internet safety can save you from threats that could lead to embarrassing losses, personal comments, or images that, once online, may be impossible to erase. Therefore, if you were thinking downloading an antivirus program is the only internet security tip you should rely on, we’ve got news for you, you can get attacked from anywhere in this world of the dark web. If not Amazon, the hacker might come at you through Twitter or Google, and that’s why you need to stay alert and have a strategy to interact with these different apps. But don’t worry about the how aspect, as we’ve got you covered with the best internet security tips that you can easily incorporate into your daily life for safe internet browsing.
List of Best Internet Security Tips
1. Always use strong passwords.
Now, this is among those internet security tips that are shared by the digital product itself. Always, and we repeat, always make sure you keep a strong and hard-to-crack password online. As suggested by many reports and digital websites/apps, use a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters along with the numbers and special characters. In addition to this, it is also recommended to change your most important and regular passwords at least once every six months. Keeping a password manager for this purpose can prove to be a great internet security tip that we’ll discuss in the next point.
2. Use different passwords for different accounts or use a password manager.
Considering your passwords is indeed among one of the most prominent internet privacy tips. As written above, use a password manager or use different passwords for different applications as a viable solution against potential cyber-attacks.
Yes, using the same password for every login may seem easy. But, you have to get out of your comfort zone here and take internet safety precautions seriously. When there is a widespread password breach, as we witnessed with LinkedIn or Twitter, you can understand why keeping one password is the worst thing you can do to destroy your internet safety. If the password and email address you use for one account is leaked or cracked by the wrong person, they can easily start extracting your details through it by trying it on other sites and services. Therefore, always ensure you use different passwords on different sites.
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If you’re not able to manage to keep different passwords for different websites and services, then try giving a shot to a password manager to keep up with internet safety precautions and get away with password hassles. The quality of password managers is that they keep all your logins stored and safely encrypted. Moreover, they use them to enter or log in with them when needed automatically. For instance, when you have to log in to your Amazon account or in any other regular app, all you need to do is enter that one password you memorized for your password manager, and voila! You land where you want to.
3. Don’t click on any link before properly checking.
You may have seen those ad links on a product or service website where they lure you to displaying a lucrative offer with “click on the link now for the offer” written below. Yes, these are the type of links you should scrutinize before you click on them. However, to follow the best internet security tips, make it a habit to detect a reliable link by checking for its origination through the given URL or by typing the website’s address manually or searching for it in Google. So, next time you receive an email, WhatsApp, or text message, remember that even if it is from your closest ally, never open it without knowing it’s safe. You never know if the sender’s account is hacked or if they have fallen into the trap of any fraudulent activity.
4. Don’t open suspicious emails.
A lot similar to the unknown links, stay mindful about the attachment you get that you weren’t expecting, and avoid opening it. Also, as a practice of following internet security tips optimally, particularly avoid those email attachments ending with .exe. However, remember that all kinds of attachments can be malicious, even JPG photos.
5. Set-up two-step verification
The next on the list of best internet security tips is setting up two-step verification or authentication. Google says two-factor authentication or two-step verification is something everyone should set up on their Google account. Other service providers also follow similar security safeguards. It’s simply because this service provides an extra layer of security. Signing into your account with two-step authentication requires you to enter another code, which you receive via text, email, or a voice call shared on your personal email address or contact. This way, no one can access your account unless they have that verification code too.
6. Only use reliable antivirus software.
Following a few best internet security tips is not enough to holistically protect your system. Today, there are several reliable and robust antivirus software available in the market. Choosing the right antivirus software for your device is like keeping a guard who watches your back when you’re away. Antivirus protects your device from ransomware and also optimizes your device’s health. Therefore, safe internet browsing tips encompass the recommendation of downloading and maintaining antivirus software for both PC and mobile devices.
7. Safeguard your wireless connection
This may surprise non-tech-savvy people, but securing your wireless connection comes under the top safe internet browsing tips. It is as essential as protecting your internet connection. Thus, ensure you have secured your home wireless network with a password and changed the default SSID. In addition, when you connect with public wifi networks, be particular about the information you are exchanging. Using a VPN (Verified Private Network) is recommended here. Although this has started happening these days, remember whether you’re in a café, airport, shopping mall, or especially when in a hotel, connect to your VPN to keep your internet activity private, especially sensitive data like logins and payment details. You can also use programs like Hotspot Shield, which determines the safety of the network you’re using.
Identity protection is one of the most striking problems for which you must follow security tips for online safety. Scammers don’t hack your device for fun. Their purpose is looting, and identity theft is one prominent method used by hackers. You must have come across scam emails that lure you in by promising tax refunds, winning price money, or something similar. They come at you with an authentic-looking website that asks for all your details for a token payment amount. Once you’ve given over your identity like this, scammers and cyber stackers can open credit accounts in your name and acquire the authority to do all sorts of nasty things.
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You can use an ID monitoring service that alerts you if your email addresses and other details have been revealed in any hacks. It alarms you to immediately change your password and save you from taking action too late, as breaches are usually reported months after. By this time, you may not be able to prevent disaster. To prevent such unfortunate incidences, it is also necessary to not overshare on social media. Therefore, double-check what you want to share through your public profile before posting it on any social media handle to ensure that you’re not exposing any intimate details that may lead to cyber trouble.
9. Only shop from trustworthy online stores
Online stores are most susceptible to cyber-attacks. The reason behind this is every user provides their card or other financial details to make payments for their shopping. Cybercriminals wait for this moment only so that they can use your personal information for their malicious activities. Therefore, as per the internet safety tips to follow, you should only provide this information to those reputable websites or brands that deliver secure, encrypted connections. Ensure that there is a little padlock icon next to the website address and that it has an HTTPS address before you enter your credit card number. In addition, it is also advisable to keep a close eye on your credit card bills to detect any suspicious activity.
10. Update everything
Modern devices manage multiple things and experience strains over time. Although most people keep their apps at auto-update, it is also beneficial to always take action for operating system updates and not click “remind me later” too often. It is among unpopular internet security tips to take these annoying updates seriously.
Cybercriminals use dubious content as bait. They know irresponsible people are tempted by improbable content and may compromise their security for it. The Internet is loaded with hard-to-see pitfalls, where one careless click could expose personal data or affect your device with malware. Staying mindful and vigilant about these above-given internet security tips can save you from almost every cyber attack. As the web becomes complex, you have no choice but to protect yourself.