The number of people who use the Internet increases every day as well as the amount of traffic. According to Wikipedia, global Internet traffic grows exponentially. Unfortunately, the number of threats on the Internet also increases fast. Even though companies invest a lot of money in online security, the Internet is still not safe for users. If you want to keep your personal data and credit card credentials safe from scammers, you have to know the essentials of online safety. The simple rules and recommendations below will help you avoid 99% of the threats you can face, including spear attacks.
Antimalware Software is Essential
It’s vital to have an antivirus installed on your device. Computers, smartphones, and tablets that run under old operating systems are vulnerable because they don’t receive important security patches that fix any possible bugs and loopholes utilized by scammers who create and spread malware. In such a case, an antivirus can help keep your device safe from the majority of trojans and malware.
It’s important to keep an antivirus on your computer or smartphone up-to-date. Also, never hesitate to run regular checks and enable live-time screening. In such a case, antimalware software will check all the files you download and inform you if any suspicious activity is detected online.
If your computer is run under the latest version of macOS or Windows, there is no need to install antimalware software. Both systems have inbuilt solutions that keep the devices of users safe from malicious software. However, don’t forget to enable auto-updates to get the latest security patches installed.
Increase Digital Literacy
There are a lot of different weaknesses that black hats use to get personal and billing information. Unfortunately, the user is the weakest point of any logical system. Scammers widely utilize social engineering to fraud people. If you want to stay safe online, you need to be aware of the major threats you can face on the Internet by boosting your digital literacy.
For starters, never follow links and don’t download files that you receive from strangers. In most cases, the links are phishing and lead to fake websites. In addition, the attached files may contain malware that gets on your devices upon downloading. It’s also not recommended to open messages from unknown contacts in your inbox. Some email clients download attached files automatically.
Never share your personal details and credit card credentials on sites not marked as secured in a browser. Usually, they have a green lock in the status bar. It notifies that a connection is secured, so all the transferred data is encrypted. Otherwise, the transferred data can be stolen by scammers. Therefore, if you’re a student, always ask yourself, “Is it a safe place to pay someone to do my essay?” before sharing your CC credentials online. Also, double-check all the offers that look too attractive to keep yourself safe from scammers.
Use VPN and Keep Personal Details Safe
Personal information can be easily stolen when users connect to shared Wi-Fi hotspots. However, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can keep you safe because it encrypts all the data. Therefore, use VPN every time you connect a shared hotspot.
Also, it’s very important to keep personal information safe. Remember, you have to create different and complicated passwords for various accounts. It’s hard to remember a large number of different passwords, especially when they imply special symbols. There is nothing wrong with storing all the passwords somewhere. However, it would be best if you never stored them in a cloud, shared documents, text files on your desktop. The safest option is to use a dedicated application that stores all login details. Nevertheless, the application should also be secured by a password that you will be obliged to remember.
Also, you can use the inbuilt Google feature that remembers login details and enters them automatically. Keeping your passwords saved at Google browser, you will always get notified if they are disclosed. It’s recommended never to share your contact details on suspicious websites that you’re not going to use constantly. In such a case, feel free to use a temporary email address. It can be used for receiving and sending messages. When a session ends, all the messages get erased and an account deleted.
Monitor Online Activity
It’s vital to track any suspicious activity online to keep yourself safe on the Internet. Feel free to check all the active sessions of your accounts on social media. If you notice some sessions from an unknown location or devices, it may be a sign that black hats have access to your accounts. In such a case, terminate all the sessions and update the password.
Also, don’t be shy about enabling two-factor authentication. It is one of the most secure ways to log into your accounts. After entering login details and clicking the login button, you will receive a notification along with a secret code on your phone. Consequently, scammers won’t be able to get into your accounts even if they have correct login details. Therefore, never share the secret codes you receive with others.