Internet is an important part of our lives. It permeates every part of pure life from work to entertainment. As per statistics, nearly 5 billion people have access to the internet. The world has become an ultra-connected global village. There are some cyber security threats one may face because of this hyper-connectedness.
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The online space is rife with threats and menaces that make it necessary to practice cyber-safety. Cyber-safety means safely browsing the internet to protect yourself against potential cybersecurity threats.
Keep in mind that even a simple mistake can sometimes lead to stolen information. For example, you can read in this CBT News article how Hari Ravichandran got his personal information stolen online, and later used this experience to start a cybersecurity company.
Here are a few ways you can surf the internet safely.
Keep Personal Information Private
It is important not to share your personal information with everyone online. Be careful about who you give out personal details to, communicate with, or share resumes with online. People often do not realize that if cybercriminals get access to your private information it could lead to identity theft and financial fraud.
Safe Browsing Practices
Have you noticed how when you search for a product or service, ads for similar products, companies, or services start popping up between videos and on sites? This is called targeted marketing. Marketers monitor your behavior online to create strategies to push their products to the right audience.
Like marketers, hackers and cybercriminals can also use your online behavior to harm you. From phishing to identity theft, unprotected browsing can have severe effects. Therefore, it is important to have privacy safeguards enabled on your browser and social media sites.
Be Mindful While Downloading Files
Downloading images, songs, or videos online can put your computer at risk. Oftentimes, these websites have an unsecured connection and are riddled with malware and viruses that are downloaded with the file. It is important to stay away from such websites because on these websites even closing a pop-up can lead to your computer being infected by a virus.
You can check if a website is secure or not by observing its web address. If a website address has, https in it is secure whereas if it just has http, the website is not secure.
One of the most important aspects of your internet security is having a strong password. Nearly every application and account requires a password to log in. There surely are too many passwords to remember. As a result of this, people set easy passwords for their convenience. This is not the right approach.
It makes your account at risk of being hacked into. Set strong passwords that include uppercase letters, lowercase letters, a special character, and at least one number. You can use a password manager to save these passwords, so you do not have to worry about remembering a complicated password.
We are now at a point, where tweets are used as evidentiary support in court trials. All social media platforms have strict policies regarding user behavior. It is important to be mindful of your online presence. What you post online will stay there for a long time. You cannot take back a comment you make or a picture/video you share. Therefore, think twice before sharing personal information or opinions that reflect poorly on you.
To secure your computer and personal information, investing in an antivirus program is important. Antivirus software provides a line of defense for your computer. It protects your computer against potential threats and removes any malware present.
Furthermore, your browser and operating system should be up to date. Companies come out with updates timely to better equip apps and operating systems in dealing with cybersecurity threats and to enhance performance.
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Virtual private networks can help protect your privacy by encrypting data before sending it forward to an online location. This prevents marketers, advertisers, ISPs, and hackers from accessing your information.
The internet provides several opportunities for us but it poses threats as well. Therefore, it is important to follow cyber safety practices. Keep these tips in mind to make your internet browsing experience safe and secure.