20 Jan Stay safe on the internet
You can find all the information would ever want and need on the internet, it’s a fantastic resource that has allowed to people learn and discover around the world, however, not all places on the internet are perfectly safe and therefore it doesn’t hurt to take some precautions when browsing to keep you and your computer completely safe.
Don’t give out personal information
Giving out information freely online that can be used to identify you in the real world, with the right information your location can be tracked down or even your details used for fraud!
Avoid using in usernames too, even that is enough!
Don’t use the same password for different accounts
Many people have a ‘go-to’ password they will use when creating accounts on various sites, this makes your online presence extremely vulnerable as having an account breached on one website means all of your accounts can then be accessed easily after.
Try to use a selection of letters, numbers, and other characters in your passwords.
Regularly change your passwords
The longer you leave the same password on an account, the more attempts have been made to acquire the correct password meaning it becomes more vulnerable the longer it is left unchanged.
Change your passwords every 6 months.
Use a Firewall
A Firewall is a program that will check all incoming and outgoing connections to your device connected to the internet, making sure they are safe connections for a legitimate purpose and not malicious, unsafe connections passing along information from your device without you knowing. It’s very important to have a firewall both installed and enabled when browsing the internet.
Check your connection
Depending on where you are and how you are connected to the internet, the connection you are using may be easily intercepted to take information your device is sending over the internet which could very easily be personal information.
Typically, a home network such as your home Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable connected to your home router will be an encrypted private network which means your information is safely encrypted, however, publically accessible networks such as free Wi-Fi hotspots at restaurants and café’s are open, unencrypted networks that do not keep the information you send completely secure, leaving them open to interception.
When browsing the internet on a public network, avoid making purchases or handling sensitive personal information.
Be aware of common scams
Whether they be E-mails in your inbox or pop-up advertisements, or even websites made to look like another company, it’s important to be aware of the common and effective ways in which people will try to either infect your computer with malware or viruses or grab your personal information from you with a clever trick. Don’t download files from a website you don’t know and trust (If you really have to make sure to scan the file with virus scanner software before opening it). Check the website you are on is the actual website for a company and not a duplicate made to steal your information. (A fake website will have a slightly different address).
Written and Edited by Sam Arthur for Vibrant Pulse.