Hackers, thieves, stalkers, and much worse people can steal credit card numbers, passwords, tax records, important information, and can even completely disable your computer. Follow these tips to protect yourself online every time you surf the inter-webs:
Tip #1: Protect Your Account by Using Strong Passwords
It’s a known fact that you should never give your passwords to anyone and you shouldn’t let anyone steal them either. Thus, it’s highly advisable to use lengthy passwords that contain upper and lower case letters, numbers, punctuation, and if possible, use a different password for each website. Likewise, don’t depend on the password alone. Some sites offer a 2-step verification process that requires the user to prove their identity with the use of a password and an external factor, such as sending an SMS code.
If it’s difficult for you to remember those long passwords, installing a password manager onto the computer, phone, or tablet is advisable.
Tip #2: Post Wisely and Don’t Share Everything
Never share too much information about yourself or family because this can cause considerable harm. A lot of people love updating their social media accounts. Little did they know that this can cause them a lot of trouble if the wrong people got a hold of their information. For example, if you’ll post a picture of yourself on a vacation, someone might take this as an opportunity to burglar your house. Physical address, mobile number, and even birthdays shouldn’t be posted online either, because this can be used against you through identity theft.
Tip #3: Shop Safely
If you’re planning to make an online purchase, see to it that the online store is using secure technology. In the checkout screen, the web address should start with “https.” Likewise, try to check if there’s a locked padlock simple beside the URL and at the bottom right of the checkout screen.
Tip #4: Watch Out for Phishing Scams
This form of scam uses fake websites and fraudulent emails as a way to trick people and lure them to reveal private information as they pretend to be legitimate businesses. Make it a point that the website you’re visiting is legitimate and instead of clicking through the site embedded in the email, make it a habit to open a separate browser instead and visit the business’ website directly.
Tip #5: Use Email Wisely
Gone are the days when we use snail mail. Now, people are sending their messages through email as a way to keep in touch with family and friends. Similarly, this can also be used as a tool to conduct business. Even when you already have the best security software installed in your computer, there’s still the possibility that your family and friends don’t have the same protection. Thus, you should be careful about the information you send via email. Never send confidential information such as SS, credit card numbers, and other private details through email.
Tip #6: Pay Attention to Kids Using the Internet
The home computer should be in an area where you can monitor your kid as he/she uses the Internet. Though, aside from that, you should also install a child software that’s age-appropriate and the amount of time spent online should also be limited. This will keep the kids from accessing harmful website and sharing vital information online.