Make your web browsing safer with these tips
Much of modern life happens online, from grocery shopping to banking to connecting with loved ones. Online services offer great convenience, but unfortunately, some risks come with using the Internet, thanks to scammers and hackers looking to take advantage of people at every turn.
Fortunately, there are some basic steps you can take when using the Internet to protect yourself from scammers and protect your information and accounts.
A good first step to surfing the web safely is to install anti-virus software on your computer and keep it up to date. These programs work in the background, keeping tabs on potential threats while you use the Internet and protecting you from them. Enable the auto-update feature to ensure they always perform at their best.
Creating secure passwords is a crucial part of staying safe online. Don’t repeat the same password on different websites and be sure to include special letters, numbers and symbols to make it harder to guess. You should also change them from time to time in case they have been compromised, and you don’t know it.
Public computers in libraries or recreation centers can be convenient, but don’t access personal accounts, pay bills, or shop from a shared computer. You never know who has access to these computers and what types of spyware or other threats are present on a public machine. Keep any activity that requires you to enter credit card numbers or additional sensitive information on your personal computer to the safety of your home.
Scammers love to use email to obtain personal information about their targets. They have become adept at impersonating reputable companies like cell phone providers and banks and tricking people into providing confidential information. These tactics are known as “phishing” and are becoming more common, but you can protect yourself by being careful about what emails you open and when you provide personal information on the Internet. If you receive an unsolicited email, even if it looks official, asking for any type of personal information, ignore it and, if possible, report it as spam in your inbox, then delete it.
Social media is a great way to stay in touch with people and share our lives with those we don’t see all the time. But scammers can also use the information you share on social media to gain access to your accounts and information. Be careful what you share on social media. Also be wary of things like questionnaires that ask you for the name of your childhood pet, street name, mother’s maiden name, or any other information you may have used. to create an account elsewhere.
Multi-factor authentication is becoming more common, especially when accessing sensitive information or accounts. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) uses a combination of devices to ensure that it is really you trying to log into your account. For example, you may need to enter a password to access something online, and the site will then send a text message to your phone with a code that you also need to enter. This additional layer of identification protects information by requiring more than just a password. The internet is a fact of life with all sorts of activities and transactions taking place on it every day. While scammers and hackers seek to take advantage of honest internet users, it’s safe to use the internet. A little vigilance and extra precautions are enough to ensure your safety and that of your information.