On the whole, the internet has become a much safer place in recent years. In the beginning, it was a bit of wild west, with hackers stealing people’s information for fun. Nowadays, although there are still threats to your personal data, it is much easier to stay safe online. To make sure that you are doing everything you can to protect your information, this article will provide a quick guide to online safety.
Get A VPN
Using a VPN or virtual private network is a great way to keep yourself safe online. If you travel a lot and find yourself needing to use public Wi-Fi, on a train, or in a hotel, you should be using a VPN. As you can see on https://www.swagbucks.com/shop/nordvpn-coupons, discounts can usually be found for VPN providers. Public Wi-Fi systems are notorious for being easy to hack into and every time you log on you make your device vulnerable to attacks. VPNs provide a secure connection wherever you go and enable you to surf with peace of mind. If you want to protect your info and be safe online, having a VPN is one of the best solutions.
Use Complex Passwords
Most information that would be of value to a hacker will be locked behind a password. This might be the password to your laptop itself or your online banking app or social media. Although it can be tempting to set a short and easy-to-remember password, this can create an easy way for hackers to access your info. The longer and more complex your password is, the longer it will take for a brute force algorithm to guess. In some cases, using a variety of letters, capitals, numbers, and special characters, it could take around 3 billion years to correctly guess using brute force. A password of this strength will never manage to be broken, as a hacker would give up and look for an easier win. Using a variety of different complex passwords is a sure-fire way to protect your online info.
Keep Up-To-Date Firewalls
Firewalls are extra defense measures that are often included in your laptops by default. These help to protect your laptop from being invaded by an insecure and unrecognized device. Keeping these up to date will ensure that you have the best protection available. It is especially important to have firewalls in place if you have any smart devices in your home. These are often connected to the internet without built-in security measures and can provide a backdoor into your network. If you want to protect your information and remain safe online, you should keep your firewalls up to date.
Be Careful Where You Click
Thankfully, many people’s awareness of what a scam or virus might look like has gone up over the last 10 years. However, new scams are developed all the time and their ability to look genuine has also increased dramatically. Elaborate scams that look very real can catch even the most cautious person off guard. If anything looks even the slightest bit suspect, make sure that you do not click on the link, as it might have malware embedded. This is effectively like opening the front door and inviting the hackers in for tea. Remain vigilant and keep an eye out for anything that looks malicious.
Be Careful What Information You Share
For websites to collect data on you and build profiles of their customers, many will ask for personal data. Various rules and regulations are limiting what specific questions they are allowed to ask and what data they are allowed to store on you. This is based on what their business does, and holding ‘excessive’ data on you that would not affect their immediate business is not allowed. If you find yourself filling out a form online that is asking you for more information than you would normally feel is necessary, take a step back. Double-check how you got to this website and see if there is anything else suspicious about it. Be extra careful what information you share on websites that you are not 100% sure are genuine.
Consider Your Mobile Safety
For the modern-day working professional, an awful lot of work and business ends up being done on their mobile phone. Although these units can appear to be safe, it is important to remember that mobile data is not as secure as your home Wi-Fi. You can also get viruses on mobile phones that are often disguised as apps. Make sure you only download mobile applications from a registered app store. Also, if you are making a payment online that involves entering your card details, consider waiting until you can get onto a secure Wi-Fi network. VPNs are available for mobiles as well. Make sure you take proper consideration of your mobile safety as well as your computer’s.
Update Your Software
One of the main reasons why developers are constantly upgrading their software is due to security. Hackers are constantly trying to find ways to crack into the code of big companies’ software, and whenever they find a way in, then it must be patched up. These patches come in the form of updates and if you do not regularly update your software then you are leaving your device vulnerable to attacks. Staying up to date is not too much of a chore and although if you have an older device it will probably slow down, that is a price that you should be willing to pay for online safety.
The most important thing you can do to protect your information online is to remain vigilant. As soon as you let your guard down, you will open yourself up to attacks. There are many ways to keep yourself as safe as possible online, many of which are listed above, however, if you don’t keep yourself safe then no protections will be able to help you. Protecting your information and remaining safe online is crucial in the modern world. It is all in your hands, and now you know what to do.