From social media to blogging, to browsing online for the best deals, the internet has become the go-to place for much of our day-to-day activity. With access to such a vast pool of information at the mere click of a button, the World Wide Web has certainly changed the way we live and opened up a world of possibilities and opportunities. However, it has also brought with it a new dimension of security issues, and staying safe online is something that all internet users have to be aware of. Here are some useful tips for surfing the web securely.
Safeguard your data
One of the most important aspects of browsing safely online is protecting your personal data. Whether you’re entering credit card details or creating a new online account, it is crucial to ensure that sensitive information doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. One of your best defenses against hacking or data theft is a strong password, so resist the urge to make it too easy and avoid using the same password for all accounts. For maximum password security, follow these tips and strategies set out in the 1&1 digital guide. Equally, avoid using public computers for things like online banking or shopping, as your password may end up being stored.
Keep social media private
Social media is one of the easiest – and most popular – ways to keep in touch with friends, and the great thing about it is that we can choose who we connect with and thus who has access to our photos and posts. However, this doesn’t mean we can abandon all caution; if the right privacy settings aren’t applied, your profile may be open to anyone. Whether it’s Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram, ensure that all photos, updates and profile details are visible to just your friends and connections, and only accept friendship or follow requests from people you know.
Install antivirus software
Browsing the internet also exposes your computer to viruses, which could ultimately result in loss of files or no longer being able to use your computer. Keep your computer safe by installing antivirus software, and be sure to keep it up-to-date; most providers will tell you when your subscription is due to run out, so there is no need for your computer to be unprotected at any time. This article explains different types of malware (malicious software) and how it can be prevented.
Be a savvy shopper
With so many stores to choose from, one of your main criteria when making purchases online should be security. Only buy from reputable websites that are visibly secure – look out for the padlock sign in the address bar, as well as “https” at the start of the web address; this indicates that the site has SSL protection, meaning all sensitive data you enter will be encrypted. At the same time, do your research before you buy; a simple Google search of the company name should quickly alert you to any unhappy customer reviews or dubious past activity.