We live in an always online world. Internet has become so deep-rooted and essential in our lives that we can’t imagine a life without it. However, as size and scope of our cyber economy has increased, so has the cybercrime. Today we’ve a lot more chance of being targeted by cybercriminals than we had in the beginning of this online revolution. Therefore, to stay safe online, it’s crucial that each of us learn how to keep ourselves safe from these sophisticated criminals.
Fortunately, it’s not very difficult to save ourselves from cybercrime. Here we’re going to tell you about 8 (eight) simple tips that you can follow to protect yourself on the internet. Let’s get started:
10 Ways to Stay Safe Online
#1. Never open links from untrusted emails
Emails have historically been one of the favourite methods of cybercriminals to target anyone. Phishing, spam, DDoS and many other types of attacks have been organized with help of emails, so it becomes very important that you use your email wisely. Though email service providers have developed very robust spam filtering algorithms themselves to prevent risky mails from reaching our Inbox, still we should follow the old-good practice of not opening emails from untrusted sources. Especially those emails which promise some sort of reward, because free rewards have historically proved very costly in the world of cybercrime.
#2. Browse only HTTPS based websites
When first set of internet-based websites were born, almost all of them used to load on Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). It was the default protocol of web, and it brought the information revolution that’s part of our lives today. However, as internet got popular and more important in our lives, cybercriminals discovered the vulnerabilities of HTTP protocol and started using them to steal our information. That’s when a secure version of HTTP protocol, called HTTPS, was developed to protect our data from the prying eyes of hackers and cybercriminals. Today cybercrime has increased manifolds, so it’s important that we always browse only HTTPS-based websites as much as possible.
Especially when there’s some confidential information being transferred (i.e. confidential communication, banking details, other financial information, etc.), we must use only HTTPS-based websites only. There is some authorized SSL seller from where you can buy cheapest SSL certificate to secure your website. SSL certificate is not only used for service website but also useful for blog too.
#3. Use strong passwords
Easy passwords are easily guessed or cracked by cybercriminals. If you’re using a simple password, there’s a very good chance that someone who knows you well can guess it. Or even if that doesn’t happen, simple passwords are cracked easily by cybercriminals through brute-force attacks. So, you should always use strong passwords with combination of letters, symbols and numbers that are hard to be cracked.
#4. Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network)
An insecure network connection is one of the biggest reasons why people are hacked. When you’re browsing on a public network, like a public Wi-Fi hotspot, you should use a (Virtual Private Network) VPN app or software to protect yourself. A VPN software provides secure connection between your device and the web server that you’re trying to access, so your data can’t be seen by anyone on the same network by capturing the data packets. There are many popular VPN apps and programs available for both laptops as well as smartphones, and you can use any of them.
#5. Don’t post everything online
Besides internet this is also the world of social media, and it’s not uncommon for people to post everything about their lives online. However, that’s not in our best interest. The information you post online can be used by criminals. And once they know enough about you, they may target you in a cyber (or even a real-world crime in some instances). There have been incidents when people’s kids were kidnapped on their first day to school, because the parents posted a picture of dropping their kids to school on Facebook. There have also been robberies when people went on tours and posted pictures of their adventures online. So, think for a while before you post anything online next time.
#6. Keep your antivirus program updated
Keeping your antivirus database up to date is also essential for your online safety. If you don’t do it, there’s a good chance that any new virus or malware may steal your data. In fact, it’s difficult to imagine how much damage a virus or malware can do to your computer as well as your life. Antivirus companies update their virus databases to keep up with the new viruses or malwares that are developed, which is why you must update your antivirus whenever an update is available.
#7. Use a Firewall
Firewall is not for public networks alone. You should use it even if your network is secure, because it warns you whenever a program is trying to gain some unauthorized access to your network or your browser. This allows you to immediately block that malicious, which is crucial for your online safety. It also protects all your Internet of Things (IoT) devices, thus eliminating every possible loophole from your cyber system.
#8. Stay Alert
Finally, be vigilant. There’s no substitute of being alert, and no matter how many security measures you’ve taken you should always keep looking out for new type of cyberattacks that are being used to target people. Cybercriminals keep improving themselves, and you should do the same if you want to keep up with their tactics. By keeping yourself up to date on the latest techniques being used by them, you’ll be able to take the necessary precautions in time, thus ensuring your security against any kind of cyberattack.
While there’s no shortage of safety measures that you can take to protect your online presence, these eight tips are the most important ones among them. They’re also more than enough to save you from almost all type of cyberattacks, so make them a part of your internet browsing habits. So, stay safe online and if you think any other important tips should also be mentioned on this page, list them in the comments section below.