There is an indescribably growing attachment between almost every individual and the internet. Across the globe, access to the internet has become synonymous to access to air. The internet not only provides innovations on daily basis, it also guarantees instant responses to certain needs. Indeed, no one can controvert the immense benefits that the internet gives. Yet, there hardly is anything that has its benefits without its detriments. Hackers have their presence spread out, lurking at online alleys and patiently watching for careless personal information. These pieces of information could range from credit cards to bank details.
Kapersky.com, an online security platform, states that “Even though apps loom larger in most people’s daily online interactions than traditional websites do, that does
not mean that the basic Internet safety rules have changed.”
It further argues that unsafe surfing could also lead to other threats. Such threats include but not limited to embarrassing personal comments or images that, once online, are nearly impossible to erase, to getting mixed up with people you’d rather have had nothing to do with. Certain practices are in themselves safe while others could compromise your security.
- Let your personal information be limited
There is hardly any online platform that does not require a stretch of individual information concerning the visitor. According to Kapersky.com, “potential employers or customers don’t need to know your personal relationship status or your home address. They do need to know about your expertise and professional background, and how to get in touch with you. You wouldn’t hand purely personal information out to strangers individually—don’t hand it out to millions of people online.”
Avoid over-sharing information. According to Matthew Pascucci, Cyber Security Engineer and Privacy Advocate, everyone should verify privacy settings on mobile devices and social media. For him, “make sure you are not over-sharing information with the world that could potentially be used against you.” Sharing a similar bent, Morten Kjaersgaard, CEO of Heimdal Security, argued that when using a computer, think about what you are doing. “ Use common sense and make sure you don’t access strange looking websites or answer just any e-mails,” he said.
- Avoid buying anything on a site whose language you don’t understand
There are certain websites that advertise very compelling products. The discounts on the prices of the goods are inviting and quite irresistible but Jane Reynolds, a blog editor at a travel website, insists on caution. He claims that as long as there are certain texts that one does not really understand, buying anything on such platform could be inimical.
- Download with caution
There is a steady increase of the availability of apps with many of them free of charge. But caution is necessary here. PCWorld stresses that “don’t download apps that look suspicious or come from a site you don’t trust. According to Kapersky.com, the top goal of cybercriminals is to trick you into downloading malware. These malwares are programs or apps that are inundated with the capacity to steal vital pieces of information. In some instances, it is observed that this malware could be programmed in apps that have popular followings. They could be traffic apps, games apps or any other with practically stimulating influence.
- Monitor your kids’ online presence
In its assessment of family security, Panda Security, an online security platform, the internet provides an anonymity that is dangerous. “Many of the things we do on the internet involve sharing, in one way or another, confidential information. Adults tend to be far more aware of what data they can reveal than children are. You should talk with your children and make them aware of the dangers of providing certain information online,” it advises.
- Avoid weak passwords
Passwords are quite important in many instances. A weak password naturally predisposes the owner to unfortunate occurrences of theft. Neil Rubenking, lead analyst, PC Magazine, advises that “use a strong, unique password for every website. That means you will have to install and use a password manager. Never click links in emails or texts that seem to come from your bank, the IRS, or any other institution. If you think the message might be valid, log into your account directly, without using the supplied link.”
For Kelly Jackson Higgins, executive editor, Dark Reading, it is instructive to create very strong and complex passwords. According to her, these passwords should be changed often and one must never reuse a password on another site or account.