People of all ages and backgrounds use personal computers and Internet-enabled devices to be more productive at work, surf the Web, and stay in touch with friends and family. Being online has become such a part of daily life for most people that it can be easy to forget about the online safety risks associated with enjoyment and convenience.
According to a recent report by the Pew Research Center, some two-thirds of internet users fall prey to at least one kind of data theft or fraud. And, ironically, despite their concerns, many people continue to be careless when it comes to their own online safety habits.
Businesses don’t always take enough care either and data theft is a massive issue in the corporate sector. Thankfully there are plenty of tools to protect customer data from hackers, with privileged threat analytics able to help businesses spot high-risk users and threats to the organization. Unfortunately, however, private individuals have less access to such resources.
While it’s not always easy to know what’s safe online and what isn’t? We bring you a quality list of 5 online safety tools, which can boost your online safety and better protect your personal data on the Web.
Here’s what to do and what not to do regarding your online safety.
1. Limit sharing personal information during your job search
When you post your resume online, you’re sharing it with more than just one employer—you are sharing it with the world. And, some people bother less about having a great deal of their personal information publicly available. No. Keep your job search as separate from your personal and professional life as possible. Employers don’t need to know your personal relationship status or your home address. They do need to know about your expertise and professional background, and how to get in touch with you. When signing up for a job search site, if possible, create a username and password that differ from those you use on other accounts (your email, bank account, etc.). You can also create an email address that is just for job searching. A number of job search sites allow you to limit the information you share with employers Monster.com, for example.
2. Keep Your Privacy Settings On
Privacy, indeed, is no more than a myth in the modern, digital age. If anything, what is abundantly clear is how fragile your privacy is unless you make a concerted effort to safeguard it.
Do you love to tell everything to social media? Right? Great! Marketers love to know all about you, and so do hackers. Both can learn a lot from your browsing and social media usage. But you can take charge of your information. Both web browsers and mobile operating systems have settings available to protect your privacy online. Make sure you have enabled these privacy safeguards, and keep them enabled.
3. How safe your downloads are?
The Internet can be a dangerous place for the careless. Land on the wrong website, fill in a username and password in a bogus form, even one careless click, and your digital life can be turned to toast. You could expose your personal data or infect your device with malware.
They know people are sometimes tempted by dubious content and may let their guard down. Cybercriminals use lurid content as bait. So, better you refrain walking through those dangerous neighbourhoods— by resisting the urge, you don’t even give the hackers a chance. These tips will help you safely deal with downloads without a nasty surprise.
4. Assuming your passwords are secure?
Okay, we understand that it is challenging for you to safely keep track of an ever-growing list of passwords.
Studies have found that large numbers of people use risky ways to remember passwords — such as writing them on a piece of paper, saving them in a note on a computer or mobile device, or saving them in their web browser. No that’s not how you’re supposed to do it. Cybersecurity experts advise using password management software such as Dashlane, LastPass, Sticky Password and Password Boss to securely store and organize passwords, and can even generate strong, unique passwords for each secure website that users visit.
5. Online shopping is fun unless identity thieves steal the joy
There’s every reason in the world to shop online. Bargains are there, the selection is mind-boggling, shipping is fast, even returns are easy, and added to that there’s a pandemic outside.
So, while the convenience of making purchases at your fingertips and next-day delivery to getting great deals, it also makes it more lucrative for scammers to trick buyers into paying for goods they won’t receive or obtain their personal information for financial gain. So, what can you do about it? Keep these 15 basic online shopping rules by Lifelock, in mind and you’ll avoid many of the nasty surprises that may lurk online.
6. Dangers lurk when you use free public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi can be found in popular public places like airports, coffee shops, malls, restaurants, railway stations, and hotels — it will let you access the Internet for free. These “hotspots” are so widespread and common that people frequently connect to them without thinking twice.
Although, it may sound harmless to browse and download big files if you’re being given high-speed internet for free. But to log on and check your social media account or any activity that requires a login — like reading e-mail or checking your bank account — could be risky business on public Wi-Fi. The same features that make free wi-fi connections desirable to consumers, make them desirable for hackers too.
There are chances of security being lax or nonexistent on these networks. While the business owners may believe that they’re providing a valuable service to their customers.
But don’t worry, there are safeguards too.
- First and foremost, it is advisable to turn off sharing from the system preferences or Control Panel, depending on your OS, or let Windows turn it off for you by choosing the “Public” option the first time you connect to a new, unsecured network.
- Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection, when connecting to your business through an unsecured connection, like a Wi-Fi hotspot.
- Well, you’re not likely to have a VPN available for general Internet browsing, use SSL connections instead, in such a case. This way, you can still add a layer of encryption to your communication.
- Enable the “Always Use HTTPS” option on websites that you visit frequently, or that require you to enter some kind of credentials, if you’re on public wi-fi.
These steps are simple, easy, and inexpensive. By just following these rules you can stay safe online and better protect your personal data on the Web.
We’ve compiled some of our best advice here for you!
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