With the constant rise in Internet usage across the world, online security is an important issue to consider. Each time you access the Internet, you should take precautions to protect your sensitive personal information. Here are five simple and effective tips for staying safe online.
1) Stay On Top Of Software Updates
Whenever you receive an official notification regarding a software update for your computer, you should take action immediately. One of the main purposes of software updates is to fix vulnerabilities that create opportunities for online scammers and hackers. Installing all software updates in a timely manner will dramatically reduce the risk of your computer or online accounts being accessed by anyone but you.
2) Use Public Wi-Fi Networks Responsibly
Do you use free Wi-Fi connections at coffee shops, restaurants, libraries, or other public locations? If so, be sure to never access or enter any sensitive personal information over such networks. Even if you enter a password to access a public Wi-Fi network, it doesn’t keep you safe from cyber attacks. Save tasks such as logging into your online bank accounts or making credit card purchases for when you’re on a secure network, such as the private, password protected Wi-Fi network in your home.
3) Watch For Secure Connections
If a website is asking for personal information but doesn’t offer a secure connection, then it may be trying to take advantage of you. The easiest way to determine if a website is secure is to look at its URL. A secure website will have an “s” at the end of its HTTP protocol. For example, the beginning of the URL will read “https://” as opposed to “http://” as is seen on unsecured websites. Some even have a lock symbol, and light up green.
4) Use Multiple Email Addresses
If your email account is hacked, you’ll want to keep the damage as minimal as possible. Having multiple email addresses is a great way to help with this. At least, use one email address for sensitive applications such as online banking and shopping, and another for recreational online activities like social media, and video games.
5) Use A Password Manager
Using a password manager software is one of the best ways to stay safe on the Internet. This software stores a different password for each online account you have, which makes these accounts more difficult for hackers and scammers to access. Instead of having to remember all of your passwords yourself, the software will do so for you automatically and securely. Allowing you to create very long hard to hack passwords, and not having to remember them.
As long as you take these basic precautions, you can feel safe as you browse the Internet. Varying your passwords, using several email addresses, updating all software, and being aware of Wi-Fi network and website security will prevent your personal information from falling into the wrong hands.