More than 4.5 billion people use the internet worldwide, which is more than half the world’s population. You can use it to discover new music, follow the newest developments in the lives of your friends on social media, or even order groceries without leaving your home. It doesn’t matter whether you are in your home, trying to relax after a rough week, or in your workplace, focusing on the workload – you are probably using the internet, in one capacity or another.
However, what we often forget about is that our online activity isn’t exactly anonymous. That’s not all – if we don’t exercise enough caution, our data could get stolen by third parties, which could have terrible effects on your reputation or even finances. If you don’t consider yourself a particularly internet-savvy person, don’t worry – in a moment, we’ll share our tips on how to stay safe and secure online.
Be Careful What You Download
Even though you can use the internet to make your life much more comfortable, it doesn’t mean that it could not do the opposite. If you inadvertently download software with a couple of lines of malicious code, it could have disastrous effects on your privacy. If your computer starts malfunctioning, or it becomes much slower, then you are likely to take steps to contact an IT expert to fix this issue.
However, malicious software might not disturb the functioning of your computer – instead, it could collect the data about your online activity and send it to third parties. This way, you wouldn’t know that something is wrong until it’s too late. How to prevent such situations from taking place? According to the experts at Bulletproof, if you need to download any type of software from the internet, you should do so from the developer’s official website. This way, there won’t be any risk that you’ll download anything extra.
Don’t Use the Same Password on Multiple Websites
If you are a regular internet user, the number of websites that you visit daily can be measured not in dozens, but in hundreds. Even if you have set up an account on only a fraction of those, it means that there is no possible way for you to remember all the logins and passwords.
Without the autocomplete feature that can be found in most modern browsers, you would have to keep a list of notes next to your desk. Or, there is another option – you could just use the same password on every website, right?
Unfortunately, you would be making it easier for hackers to gain access to all of your data by doing so. Even if you adhere to all the rules of safe online surfing, instead of targeting your device, hackers could focus on the website.
Let’s say that they manage to learn what is your login and password on some obscure site. Your email address and password could then be used to log in to around half of the websites that you are using, as some of them thankfully have additional security features or require you to input login instead of an email address.
Though you might need to get a little creative, we recommend setting up different passwords for each platform that you use, so that even if one of them somehow gets compromised, e.g., as a result of the phishing attack, your other accounts will be safe.
Regardless of whether you’ve been shopping online for the last couple of years, or if it was the COVID-19 pandemic that finally made you try it out, we would like to stress the importance of providing your private information on secure websites only. It is especially important when it comes to e-commerce websites.
How to recognize if a particular website is secure? If there’s an icon of a padlock next to the URL bar, it means that the website that you’re on uses HTTPS. Although it’s a bit of an oversimplification, websites that use HTTPS instead of HTTP generally have better security. The information such as name or credit card number is encrypted so that there is no risk that a third party will intercept it.
Most of us couldn’t imagine abstaining from the use of the internet for longer than a day. Imagine walking somewhere without a GPS, or ordering food without reading online reviews of restaurants first – you would feel a little uncomfortable. Even though many people spend too much time glued to the monitors, it doesn’t mean that we should stop using the internet altogether.
However, attacks of hackers aren’t a myth, but a grim reality. Although try as you might, you won’t be able to eliminate the possibility of data theft, there are some rules that will help you protect against the most common hacker attacks.