In celebration of Safer Internet Day, I thought it would be a good idea to share some tips on how to stay safe online. As we progress deeper into the digital age, being online is becoming more prominent in our everyday lives. For that reason, it’s imperative we know how to navigate the internet, securely and safely.
1. Be careful using public wifi
When out in public, on a bus or on a train you sometimes get a pop-up on your phone asking you to join public wifi. This can an extremely convenient way for you to preserve your 4G but what you don’t know is how dangerous it can be. Corporate cybersecurity experts worry about “endpoints”—the places where a private network connects to the outside world. Your vulnerable endpoint is your local Internet connection. Make sure your device is secure, and when in doubt, wait for a better time (i.e., until you’re able to connect to a secure Wi-Fi network) before providing information such as your bank account number.
2. Only visit secure websites
When you visit a website online, if it’s a secure website it will have a locked padlock next to the URL. If you’re visiting a website with an insecure site, it will have an exclamation mark and will say not secure. Making sure that the websites you’re visiting is one of the many vital ways to protect yourself online. Visiting insecure websites makes you at risk of; accessing your passwords, banking details and personal information.
3. Be careful of what you download
Downloading files from unfamiliar sources on the internet is one of the most dangerous activities you can do on the internet. When downloading files from the internet you’re automatically putting yourself at risk. People regularly use these downloads as ways to infiltrate your computer with damaging viruses. My personal recommendation would be to the only download from reputable sites that you know won’t be laced with potentially harmful data.
4. Avoid phishing email addresses
Sometimes Phishers obtain your email addresses and other pieces of valuable information. Phishers will then send you fraudulent emails acting on behalf of a well known, reputable businesses. In these emails, Phishers will usually try and lure you into believing the email to be authentic so you enter the information they are wanting to obtain. Usually, they are wanting your usernames, passwords, address and banking information. Being aware of Phishers is the best chance you have of beating them. If you’re wise to their schemes you stand a good chance of spotting them.
5. Use antivirus software
The most obvious advantage of using antivirus software is the fact it protects your machine. Computer viruses come in a variety of different forms. From trojans to spyware, antivirus software protects you from every form of dangerous software. Not only can a virus destroy all of the valued data on your computer, but it can also make the computer utterly worthless by infecting and destroying processes vital to your computer’s performance.
For more tips on navigating the internet safely please visit https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/safer-internet-day-2020/safer-internet-day-2020-top-tips.
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