There are many ways to keep yourself and your family safe when surfing the internet. It doesn’t always have to end up in a mess, malware, or getting yourself into trouble for doing something you weren’t even a part of. Below, you will find some practical tips to help safeguard your internet browsing experience.
Passwords, Passwords and More Passwords
The only thing between a hacker and your personal information is your password. If your account gets hacked it’s likely that your password was a simple and easy guess, such as your name, birthday, or perhaps your phone number.
Use complex passwords to ensure this doesn’t happen to you. Make sure they can’t be found in the dictionary; make your passwords longer than 13 letters, mixing it with numbers, symbols, small and capital letters; and make it a practice to not use the same password for every account.
Think Before You Speak
Or more likely, “think before you post.” Everything you post and share on your social media accounts holds the potential to be seen by the world. If your settings aren’t correct, then that potential becomes a whole lot more. In fact, never give away your personal information over a social media account, even via a private message to your friends, because if your account is hacked, then those images and bank details you want to keep private can fall into the hands of the wrong person, and likely, will be used against you or against your family.
Also worth mentioning, is the fact that many companies, like Google, will do an online check before hiring you. Anything posted can haunt you later.
Cyber Bullying Exists
The rules that apply in real world time apply to those bothering you online: simply do not answer them; block them and then report them to the police, as well as making your family aware of your situation, no matter what the problem is. There are many organisations that can help you fight cyberbullying, with one of them being Stomp out Bullying. Their programs include teen ambassadors, and you can contact them via phone or visiting their website for further assistance.
If You’re Not Sure About the Attachment, Don’t Click on It
Hackers have a way of hiding up a link, or the viruses, by concealing them in a file or an attachment. In plain, simple words: do not open a file if you weren’t expecting it or if it’s from an unknown email address. More specifically: DO NOT open an attachment that has an .exe extension.
This rule also applies to a link. There are many extensions that can help you identify if the link or the website is a malicious one. The WOT extension can help you identify the link by deeming it safe or unsafe. You can install it on your browser by visiting their web page.
If you received an email saying that a wealthy girl wants to marry you or wants to give you the millions that was left to her dead father, chances are, its spam. These emails are there to gain your personal information, such as your bank account details and credit card numbers so that they can later be exploited. Simply report such emails as spam.
Your Friend is Sending You Weird Messages
Sometimes your friends can send you weird messages, but if they’re sending you messages that have naked pictures on them – luring you to click on the file, chances are you’ll end up kicked out of your account and the same message is now being sent to your own contacts.
Let’s Buy Something Online
Many of us buy things online, but most of us forget to check the security of the site first. For instance, what type of security is the website using, and if the website is using a third-party merchant, what reviews does that merchant have? How strong is the merchant’s security? Always do your homework, and one word of advice: never use someone else’s computer for online shopping. It may have a key logger or worse – it may be infected with a malware, sending your data direct to a hacker.
Use the Works
Now a day’s many operating systems have their own built-in firewalls, which are pretty good. But if you want more security, use third-party software such as Kaspersky or AVG. There are many out there to choose from, and use on-demand scanners to scan your systems from time to time, as well.
This article (8 Simple Ways for a Safer Internet Experience) is a free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and AnonHQ.com.
Supporting Anonymous’ Independent & Investigative News is important to us. Please, follow us on Twitter: Follow @AnonymousNewsHQ