The internet has transformed different aspects of human life significantly. For example, you can work or learn from home, purchase stuff from the comfort of your couch, and send money to a loved one living miles away. This means we spend much of our daily lives on the internet. Cybercrooks use this phenomenon to rob unsuspecting users of their hard-earned money or identity. This is particularly true in scenarios where money is involved.
For example, if you are wagering on an online casino, you could easily join a dubious platform full of fraudsters who’ll con you. This means you must only wager on safe online casinos, which according to Maple Casino, support responsible gambling and are regulated by the right bodies. This article looks at five top tips on how you can stay safe online.
Use Strong, Unique Passwords
One of the weaknesses hackers take advantage of is weak passwords. Many internet users use the same password for logging in to several accounts because it seems more convenient. However, this approach to passwords makes it easy for hackers to steal your password. When they steal your password, they can use it to log into all your online accounts.
It would help to use a strong and unique password for each account. Your online accounts store sensitive personal information that criminals can use for identity theft.
Other password tips you should apply include the following:
- It would help to change your password regularly. For example, Cybersecurity experts advise that you should change your password monthly.
- Never share your password. Beware of criminals masquerading as your bank’s agents asking you for your password. No bank employee will ever ask you for your password. Therefore if you receive a call or email from anyone claiming to be working with your bank, ignore it and contact your bank immediately.
- Don’t allow your browser to remember your login details. It is safer to reenter your login credentials every time you log on, even if it seems inconvenient.
Always Log Out from Services
Every time you are done with an online session, such as a banking session or any other account that contains sensitive information. This is critical if you use a public computer like at an internet café or any other public space out of your home.
When you log out, it helps to reduce the chances of cross-site request forgery attacks. Attackers can make your browser send requests to websites you’re logged into. For example, cybercriminals can request a bank transfer.
Update Your Software Frequently
Humans develop software, and humans do make mistakes. This is why software can contain flaws that compromise your internet safety.
Hackers usually scan the internet for computers running outdated software versions with flaws. When they find one, they target that specific computer. In this sense, it is advisable to enable automatic updates to ensure you safeguard your system against online attacks.
The software you must ensure is up-to-date include the following:
- Anti-virus and firewall software. Download updates regularly to ensure your device is protected against any new threats.
- Internet browser. Ensure you use the latest versions of your internet browser of choice. This is because the latest versions usually have built-in protection against fake sites and viruses.
- Operating system. Your PC and mobile devices should be running on updated operating system software. The latest versions have been specially designed to resist the latest attacks hackers use.
Beware of Phishing Attacks
A phishing attack happens when a cybercriminal tricks an internet user into opening a malicious link or an email attachment. These attackers use phishing to introduce malware into your device or steal your login credentials.
Therefore, when you receive a suspicious email, please be careful. Be extra cautious before you click links or open attachments. You can also receive phishing links via SMS or chats.
Other tips for ensuring you avoid phishing attacks include:
- Be careful what you download. Please don’t download apps that look suspicious or come from an untrustworthy sites.
- Use multi-factor authentication to protect your online accounts. This feature requires two or more credentials to log into your account. For example, it could be a mix of a strong password and fingerprint.
Simply put, avoid dangerous neighborhoods online as you would do in real life. Cybercriminals usually use lurid content as an enticement. They know that most people are sometimes tempted by dubious content and usually let their guard down when searching for such content.
One wrong click could expose your sensitive data or introduce malware into your system. Therefore, please resist the urge to avoid giving hackers access to your device.
Other safe browsing tips are:
- Ensure your internet connection is secure. For example, you can use a secure VPN connection.
- When making online purchases, ensure you transact on secure sites only. This is because you must provide your credit card or bank account information as you make the purchase. It would be dangerous for cybercriminals to get their hands on this precious information.
Picture this, you wake up one day, your device is locked, and you can’t access your critical videos, photos, or documents! That would be a disaster.
That is ransomware- malware that encrypts your files and demands a ransom to decrypt them. Therefore, to be safe from such attacks, back up your data in case your device is stolen, infected, or lost.
More backup tips include:
- Consider using the 3-2-1 backup rule, where you keep three copies of essential data, two of which are local but on different media types and another copy on the cloud.
- Use services such as Google One to back up your mobile device automatically. This allows you to have another copy of your videos, photos, and contacts in the cloud. You can quickly get this data back when you get a new device.
If you can follow these tips, you’ll significantly improve your safety online. You can also consider getting internet security software to enhance your safety online.