One of the best things that technology has given us is the Internet. The Internet is a system of computer networks linked globally. Upon its creation, people wouldn’t have believed that the Internet would grow into a virtual world where everything would be possible.
And if by everything, we mean everything. Want to order spaghetti and meatballs from your favorite Italian restaurant? Look for their website online and have it delivered to you! How about buying clothes? Look it up on the Internet. What about playing games with other people from other countries? As you can see, the Internet makes everything possible.
Even before the pandemic started, a lot of people have been using the Internet. Now that a lot of people are staying indoors, the population of people using the Internet has risen. With many people being online, criminals and hackers are also on the rise. If you’re not careful, you can fall victim to their traps.
People can easily fall victim to scams and other nasty stuff on the Internet. For example, if you click a suspicious link, that may lead to a phishing site that could potentially steal your personal information. To avoid such inconvenience, here are some ways to help you stay safe when you’re online.
there are several steps you can take to enhance your online security. Keep in mind that some of the tips discussed in this article may require you to invest some money while others require no funds. Either way, they’re reliable ways to stay safe from online threats because the security of your data is crucial.
That said, here are some of the most effective tips you should consider as an internet user:
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Use a VPN or proxy
The first idea, and perhaps one you’ve come across several times, is using a virtual private network (VPN) and proxies. Like your physical address, your IP address is a piece of vital information that can lead hackers to your data. Of course, you can be careful while surfing the internet, but with your real IP on display, cybercriminals can use it to their advantage.
The primary role of proxies and VPNs is to ensure that you surf the internet anonymously. When you send a request, it will go through a proxy server before getting to the destination website. The feedback from that web page will also go through the same route, meaning your location and data will always be safe.
However, with the current rate of cybercrimes, you’re never sure which service providers have your best interest at heart. So, when you’re ready to find proxies for sale, make sure you do your due diligence and go for the most reputable in the market. There are many subscription-based service providers available today when it comes to VPNs. Applying for a trial from any of them will give you a test of their services, including speeds, before investing your money.
One of the best ways to avoid viruses and malware online is by getting a reliable antivirus software and other security tools for your computer. Tools like Bitdefender Internet Security are the best you can get that’ll rid your computer of malware. You can check a BitDefender Internet Security review to see just how vital these tools are.
Always make it a habit also to update your software. Just like a real-life virus or bacteria, online threats are also growing. If your antivirus isn’t updated, viruses can take over your pc with ease. If this happens, a lot of things can happen. For one, your information might get stolen.
In worse case scenarios, hackers can also install remote controllers that can access your computer. This means they can type anything with your keyboard, move your mouse, turn on cameras, virtually anything they want. To avoid such a thing from happening, make sure you have an updated version of your antivirus software.
Spotting Malicious websites
Most of the time, malware can get on your PC without you knowing. Chances are, you might have visited an unsecured website. These websites can look like ordinary websites but have a lot of harmful stuff on it. These websites can steal information and forward them to their owners. Avoid visiting suspicious websites and save yourself from the hassle. Here are some two ways to spot such websites:
- Content – Most websites with viruses and malware are purposely set up for stealing data and causing damage. Check the website’s content if it makes sense. Most of the time, people who set up these websites pay poor attention to detail. Wrong spelling, broken sentences, common pictures, and more are classic signs of such websites.
- Site Information – you can look at a site’s information by clicking on the padlock icon. The padlock icon is located on the top left of the browser, on the address bar, right before the website’s link. If the padlock icon is missing, then that means you’re probably on a fraudulent website.
Websites that are up to no good will often offer visitors prizes or gifts. These sites can also tell you that you need to check your computer for problems. If you notice an unusually high number of these ads on a site’s page, leave that site immediately.
Avoid Clicking Ads
Ads are some of the ways a website earns money. However, hackers can change the links an ad has and lead you to a fraudulent website. Some can even include automatic download links, which, if clicked, can trigger a download of a malicious program on your PC.
If you have to click an ad, hover your mouse over that ad and look at the bottom left of your screen. From there, you can see the redirect link of that ad. If the redirect link makes sense or is related to the ad, then it may be safe.
Most hackers who break into personal accounts say that they know the passwords of these accounts. So how do they do it? Do they break in using an expensive password guessing software? The answer can be yes. But if you’re just an ordinary citizen living peacefully, then these tools are too expensive to use on you.
Hackers use something else to break into some personal accounts. Believe it or not, you and everyone have this tool. Yes, you’ve guessed it right, hackers use their brains. This is why you should use randomly-generated passwords instead of common ones like 123456, birthdates, names, and other easy-to-remember stuff.
Sometimes, all it takes for a hacker to enter your account is through dumb luck. No fancy tools, no expensive subscriptions, just a lucky, educated guess.
Protect yourself online
Since most people are online nowadays, cyber-criminals are growing as well. Always be vigilant when browsing online. All it takes is a wrong click or a weak password for criminals to steal everything from you. Take note of these tips to protect yourself from cyber-attacks.