Surfing the Internet has become so secondary to most of us that we forget about its dangers. It is easy not to think about what goes on behind the scenes as you browse on your favorite social media site, shop on a famous online store, or read the news online.
Sharing your personal information on the web puts you at even greater risk. There are many websites out there that can trick you into believing they are legitimate when they’re not. Luckily, there are ways for you to avoid falling victim to cyber crimes such as:
- Identity theft
- Malware infection
Unfortunately, there is no surefire way for you to tell when the website you’re on is legitimate or malicious. To have a safer (and more enjoyable) browsing experience, follow these steps and make it a habit to stay aware and alert whenever you go online.
- Exercise caution when transacting online – unless the site uses third party encryption, or a secure web server (hint: look for the “s” in https, plus a padlock icon on the status bar), don’t transact on it. You will have greater peace of mind and your bank account information will not be at risk if you are vigilant.
- Strengthen passwords – using a weak password is almost as careless as leaving your front door open. Make your password difficult to guess and to hack and use different ones for each account. Follow these tips for a strong password:
- Make it long
- Combine letters, numbers, and characters
- For letters, combine upper and lowercase
Your password could be something that has a meaning to you that only you are aware of. You should also write them down and store in a secure place in case you forget. Never ever share your password/s with others.
- Be wary of pop-ups – ignore pop-ups and other unsolicited links as much as possible. Clicking on them could lead you to a phishing website, so stay clear of them.
- Don’t fall for cheap tricks – when you get free software offers that you are required to download, don’t do it. As tempting as they are, your Internet security comes first.
- Invest in reliable internet security software – this will help make your internet connection and all online activities more secure. Modern internet security suites have multiple features that can all help protect you and your computer against viruses, malware, spyware, etc.
The holiday season is a more critical time as more cyber criminals are out to do their illegal activities on the Internet. Take extra care so you will not have any problems when you go online shopping this season.
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