Online safety is a topic that gradually grew in importance. With wider Internet access, we can get in touch with one another easier, but this also makes us more vulnerable. Adults or children, we must all keep an eye on our online behavior, since we might expose ourselves to unnecessary risks. But fortunately enough, we now have access to awesome tools to make this task easier to tackle. Below are some of the best tools you can use to keep both yourself and your children safe on the web.
#1. Limit the personal information you share online
Aspects like your relationship status and exact or approximate address are not relevant to your employer or potentially anybody else you might meet online. Make sure you keep those as they should: private. Besides, sharing this type of information online is a mistake you want to avoid because of a series of other reasons, too.
By disclosing this sort of information, you make yourself vulnerable to various threats. From scams to more dangerous individuals, personal data can be used in different ways to make your life hell.
#2. Learn how to browse safely
Just like you would never walk willingly in dubious and dangerous areas, you want to avoid dangerous areas of the web, too. Unfortunately for you, cybercriminals know very well people’s psychological resorts and they are well-aware that we might be tempted to click on dubious content. Cybercriminals use this sort of content to bait us and make us click on it. But this can easily turn out to be one of the worst decisions you have ever made, so avoid clicking on everything you see online. Only use reliable and trustworthy sources, and try to avoid malware of phishing attempts.
#3. Always turn on privacy settings
Companies and especially marketers love to know everything about Internet users and, unfortunately, so do hackers. Whether you use a web browser or a mobile one, make sure you enforce good privacy settings.
Improve your social media privacy settings as well. Facebook has an array of privacy settings you can activate when you want to make yourself and your data less visible on the web.
It might be possible for companies and marketers to override these privacy settings in spite of all your efforts. In this case, avoid answering calls from numbers you don’t know. This is a common strategy used by telemarketers to sell their products. After you receive a similar call, use tools like free background check engines. You will learn a lot about the caller in a matter of minutes.
#4. Only use secure Internet connections
All Internet users should make sure they only use secure VPN connections. This means you should avoid using public Wi-Fi connections since you don’t know anything about how secure or not these are. When you’re not sure about whether or not to use a Wi-Fi network, wait until you reach a safe one. Follow this advice especially when you want to access private accounts or your bank account.
Even at home, you should use a VPN connection. This will improve the security you enjoy between the device you use to browse the web and the server you use.
#5. Be mindful of what you download
We all use the Internet to download things, from time to time. However, this is one of hackers’ preferred ways to gain access to your device, and subsequently, to all the precious information it holds. Cybercriminals use different apps and programs to mask their malware. Because of this reason, you want to make sure you download the apps and programs you need only from the vendor and other reliable sources.
#6. Try to create strong passwords
How many times have you heard your password is weak? And of course, this annoyed you a little. But try to get over this small inconvenience of having to think harder of a better password, and do it. In fact, passwords are one of the weakest spots of the entire online space. if you have easy-to-guess passwords on your accounts, try to come up with something harder to break.
#7. Never purchase anything from platforms with poor security
When buying products or services online, you need to offer details on your bank account. And this is the sort of information most cybercriminals are actively hunting. And your bank account information is the most vulnerable when you use platforms with poor security protocols. The most obvious sign of a low-security platform is the lack of “s” of an address that starts with “http:/”. Search for the “s” termination, to make sure the website you use to purchase things online is safe to use. Also, some platforms that are secure are marked with a padlock right next to the address.
#8. Be mindful of what you post online
Most people think that they can make the things they post online disappear by simply deleting these. But we have some bad news for you. All those embarrassing Facebook posts you have deleted in the past are still somewhere on the wide web. Everything you do online will be there for eternity, as much as you might want to take it back.
The best advice we can offer is to completely avoid posting anything that might do yourself a big disservice, in the first place. Once you post it, you can’t take it back.
#9. Don’t trust people you meet online
The Internet is amazing because it can bring people together. People from different corners of the world can bond relationships of all kinds and grow the number of their connections. But this comes with a huge downside, as many have found.
Creating fake Internet profiles is a facile way for hackers to come closer to internet users and make them disclose different private information. Besides, this is a great way for all kinds of bizarre individuals to find their next victim. Be mindful of who you meet online and try to keep your information private from Internet strangers and avoid meeting them in real life, unless you come to a high trust level.
#10. Always invest in a sturdy antivirus software
A good antivirus is always an amazing investment. If you don’t have one, buy it, if you have it make sure to keep it updated.