The increasing number of Internet users, along with the advent of social media, cloud technology, and online banking, has significantly increased the risk of losing critical information.
It’s imperative that the Internet users protect themselves, but since the technology itself is constantly evolving, new attack techniques appear all the time.
5 Ways to Stay Safe Online
1) Get an Anti-Virus Program
An Internet security suite (anti-virus program) is essential to protect digital assets and vital information.
The rise of cyber crime as a profitable business has enhanced the need of Internet security suites for protection.
Every Internet user should stay technically ahead of online threats by employing a suitable security suite and periodically updating it.
2) Watch Out for Rogue Websites
Rogue websites are fake sites which represent another big threat to Internet users.
They usually target new users accessing e-commerce and banking websites by directing to fake sites that appear identical to the original sites.
Once personal data is entered into these sites, it’s stolen.
Accounts may be emptied within minutes. Hence, Internet users should check the address bar for a green lock icon and the prefix ‘https://’ at the beginning of the URL when entering credit card and banking details.
It’s always preferable to go to the website directly rather than clicking the links received in emails, as these links can sometimes lead to rogue websites.
3) Be Careful With Sharing Sensitive Information
Every Internet user should be careful about revealing sensitive information to third parties.
For example, an email claiming to be from a company such as Chase may assert that you’re eligible for an investment of a lifetime and that bank details need to be validated.
Once the login ID and password are inputted, your banking details are stolen.
The subject and method of such emails may differ, but their aim is to obtain your banking details to steal your money.
You should be aware of these threats and avoid sharing banking information with third parties.
4) Tighten up Your Passwords and Limit What You Share On-Line
Online banking passwords should be changed periodically.
People who specialize in cracking passwords may follow a user’s social media activities for clues on banking passwords, like pet names and so on.
Hence, it’s not safe to use passwords that are easy to guess. In addition, different passwords should be used for different accounts to be safe.
Privacy settings on social media sites should restrict all posts to friends only.
5) Look Into Backing up Your Important Information
Backing up refers to copying and archiving data.
This can help in restoring information in the event of hacking, accidental deletion, corruption, computer crash, accident, or some other form of data loss.
If you fall prey to threats like ransomware, the backup can retrieve your sensitive data.
It’s better to backup data periodically onto a data storage device or cloud storage.