Given the current state of the world, it seems like staying connected is more important than ever. But more time spent online also increases your chance of falling victim to data leaks and security breaches. So we’ve listed a few tips to ensure your browsing experience is as safe as possible.
1. Keep your connection secure
Most, if not all, businesses and government agencies use a virtual private network (VPN) to keep their data secure. Nowadays, everyone can (and should) use VPNs. VPNs keep your location and other personal information confidential and allow you to browse the web anonymously.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of VPNs to choose from. To ensure maximum security, go for one that’s well-reviewed and highly rated. Check out this Avira Phantom VPN review as an example of what you need to look out for in a trustworthy VPN.
2. Choose strong passwords and keep them private
Think of passwords as locks to your home. The stronger they are, the harder it will be for thieves to break in. Strong passwords aren’t just about length but also character variety. Use a combination of numbers, symbols, and uppercase and lowercase letters.
You can use an online password security tool to check your password strength. It is also ideal that you use different passwords for each account. If you’re concerned about forgetting which password belongs to which account, there are many password managers to help you keep your passwords organized and secure.
3. Manage your privacy settings
Many social media sites’ default privacy settings leave you more vulnerable than you realize. Most people on social media, especially young children and older folks, fail to comprehend the dangers of failing to be mindful of their online privacy. As a result, identity thieves, stalkers, hackers, and other unscrupulous characters can easily gather personal information through your posts on social media and even trace your IP address.
If you haven't customized your privacy settings, do so ASAP. Ensure that all your posts are visible only to your friends and keep sensitive information like your location and contact details private.
4. Be wary of disclosing personal information
The internet allows us to get in touch with old friends and even make new ones. However, not everyone on the internet has pure intentions. Some people may masquerade as a representative from your bank or internet service provider to steal information. They may even pretend to be your family or friend. Unless you have verified their identity, never disclose personal information like your address, phone number, passwords, etc.
It may be unsettling to hear about all the instances of people getting scammed or doxed on the internet. However, your best line of defense against these attacks is diligence and good old common sense. First, be mindful of your privacy settings and keep protective software like VPNs and antiviruses up to date.
Second, avoid suspicious and dangerous websites and be careful about downloading and opening files from spam emails. Finally, continuously educate yourself on internet safety to stay informed and adaptive to new hacker and scammer strategies.