The Internet is a wonderful technology that has revolutionized the way we interact with knowledge and has streamlined our communications. Nowadays, data related to any topic imaginable is available at our fingertips, not to mention instant communication capabilities. However, with this leap in technology, we often overlook the glooming dark side that lurks behind the shady curtains of the internet.
We are just a small cog in this intricate system of the internet. Today’s technology has got us hooked on to our devices and we are getting more and more distant from the actual world. What is even more astonishing is the extent of how people are unconcerned about this matter.
Even though sensitive issues like NSA surveillance scandals, which are well documented and reside in the public domain thanks to the leaks by Edward Snowden, the general public just do not seem to be bothered by it. When the fact of the matter is that, they should be more assiduous in their approach.
Whenever anything good is introduced to the world, there is always a community that wants to damage the sanctity of it by introducing shady tactics for their personal gains. Email phishing, Facebook hacking, and identity theft are some of the risks you can encounter on your day to day browsing.
Feeling overwhelmed by this information? Well, don’t, because we have some great preliminary security and privacy measures that will help you stay completely safe on the internet so make sure you do not miss anything.
1. Create unbreakable passwords
The number one surefire way of staying safe on the internet is to have hard to guess passwords for all of your various social accounts. An intricate password consisting of multiple combinations of special character, numbers and alphabets should be enough to survive any brute force attack. If you are not sure how to create an unbreakable password, then simply use long phrases, special characters, and different passwords for each account.
Remembering complex passwords for different accounts can be difficult, but there are multiple tools that can help you generate a complex random password and seamlessly integrate and save them for your convince. Applications like LastPass help you do exactly this and instead of remembering multiple passwords, you will only need to remember one, and the rest is taken care of by the application.
2. Manage application permissions
Our mobile devices are an integral part of our lives; it would not be outrageous to say that we cannot live without them. Just as we cannot survive without our cell phones, our phones cannot survive without apps. Instant messaging, photography, and maps are some of the applications that we heavily rely on and coincidently they share our most sensitive and vulnerable data.
For instance, these applications access and constantly update our information even when we are not interacting with them. Maps can update your location and camera apps can supposedly poke around without your permission.
The best practice is to limit and review your application permissions, as it is not uncommon to unknowingly grant applications too much access. It is also beneficial to close unused applications for limited interactions and saving up battery life.
3. Verify what sites you visit
It might be enticing to click links offering free stuff like a giveaway for a new iPhone; however, these links at the very least are nothing more than a spam. Therefore, you should never download or browse anything from untrusted shady websites because at the end of the day you can end up with a nasty malware.
You can use simple browser plugins like Click-to-Play, NoScript, and Adblockers to restrict and avoid any automatic download of content containing malicious code from such sites.
4. Always try and keep your device insight
Physical privacy is just as important as your online privacy. Therefore, never leave your mobile or laptop unattended in public spaces. If you frequently carry portable flash drives, then it is imperative that you keep it close to yourself, try to wear it as a necklace that way you will never lose it from your sight.
If you perform any task through a public desktop computer then you should always delete your personal files and browsing data. One way of securing your device is to use encryption and admin login to gain access to your data.
5. Two-factor authentication
While a strong password is enough for preliminary security measures, a two-factor authentication process takes your privacy to a completely new level. Popular emailing and cloud applications offer this level of protection. Two-factor authentication requires a second set of device, number, email to verify your identity.
6. Use antivirus programs
Antivirus can prove to be vital in a breach of security scenarios since these programs are constantly monitoring what files and programs are installed on your device. However, not any antivirus program offers complete protection, so you must only download reputable antivirus programs from verified sources. Likewise, consider investing in a premium antivirus as they offer features and support that most of the freemium versions don’t.
7. Cautious on public Wi-Fi
We are all guilty of connecting to an internet connection at our local bar or coffee shop to check emails or get a few tasks done. However, the thing most of us do not realize is that we are sharing the network with all sorts of strangers, some of whom might want to peek at your activities or worse your private life.
One way to counter this is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and create almost a pseudo profile for any peeping toms out there. Some of the Best VPN in the industry offer network-wide encryption that will grant you complete anonymity even on public networks while making you anonymous.
8. Update software and operating systems
Keeping your software and operating systems up-to-date can prove beneficial in your quest for online security and privacy. Your operating system will periodically add new privacy and security features that help fight vulnerabilities. Windows, Mac, and Linux consistently push out new updates, so make sure you update them at your earliest.
9. Secure browsing suggestions
Popular internet browsers have a built-in feature that can detect malicious websites and contents and often notify users with warning messages in case of any security threat. Therefore, instead of neglecting them as the bogus warning, you should avoid such websites and contents for your personal safety.
One way of browsing securely is to check for HTTPS in the website URLs. Any website that is still on HTTP is not secure and you should avoid visiting it. Likewise, you can use extensions like HTTPS everywhere to visit safely any website of your choice.
If you need to make your website secure then installing an SSL certificate is important. You can buy it here.
10. Back up your personal data
You never know when your device might be hacked online or stolen; therefore, it is wise to create regular backups of your personal data on either cloud or secondary flash storage devices. This will not only free up space on your actual device but also keep your data safe in case of any mishaps.
Online security and privacy are not something most people think about in their day-to-day browsing. The only time people take it seriously is when hackers directly target them or their sensitive information is compromised. Now there are some great, tips and tricks that any internet user can use to make their internet surfing a tad bit secure. We hope you found our blog informative, stay safe, and secure next time you hop on the internet.