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Top 5 Online Safety Tips

21-08-2018

The World Wide Web is a revolutionary tool that has aided human beings in many aspects and generally made life easier. Its uses are novel and dynamic. However, in this cyber-space age, quite a number of threats emanating from the internet. Among the key ones are:

  • Cyberbullying
  • Catfishing
  • Fraud, and
  • Identity theft.

  • Internet security, therefore, becomes a cause of concern for most of the world’s population. By taking a series of personal steps and using technology, internet users can guarantee online security for themselves and others. Here are five online security tips that can help you make the internet a safe place.

    1. Use Antivirus Protection

    Many cyber attacks can be controlled using anti-virus software. By installing software that is up to date, an internet user ensures security against online threats such as hackers and malware.

    Viruses can wreak havoc on a person’s information. They can target one’s personal data such as account details or general information. Access to such information will allow the offending party to commit fraud or identity theft. Recently, a virus named “Ransomware” was reported to affect even the biggest tech companies such as Yahoo, Tumblr, and others. The virus restricted access to information stored on the computer or network unless a ransom was paid.

    However, this was an extreme case. Regular internet users are rarely susceptible to large-scale attacks such as this. Usually, it is a little Trojan or worm that infects our systems and makes working on the infected computer difficult. The good news is that antivirus software will help the user to eradicate such small viruses with ease.

    Modern-day antivirus software comes with advanced tools that help the user to scan the sites that they visit on the internet. The software also comes with VPN configuration settings which conceal a user’s personal information from the public domain.

    The most important thing that one should remember is that antivirus software requires regular updates. Since the software only works with a prescribed database of threats, new threats will often be overseen if the software is not updated.

    2. Encryption

    Even the best antivirus software and strongest firewalls have been bypassed once or twice. When this happens, information or personal data is often left vulnerable to hackers and malicious software. If this takes place, it is important to have a contingency plan. Encryption is the best plan.

    Email transcripts are usually raw. Anyone who has access to your network can openly read the emails and other communications. Such a scenario exposes a person to potential leakage and other cybersecurity risks, especially when dealing with sensitive data like credit card information, addresses, and confidential communications.

    Online casinos handle client finances on a daily basis. Instant withdrawal casinos, for instance, provide a mechanism for the customer to credit funds to their account without logging out of the casino. In situations like these, here is an exchange of personal information that if left unprotected, will lead to severe losses for both the casino and the client.

    One way to ensure that this does not happen is by encrypting the information. Encryption scrambles readable data unreadable data. The scrambled gibberish can only be decoded by a person with a corresponding key.

    3. Using Firewall

    A firewall monitors your computer traffic. The firewall will vet incoming and outgoing transmissions and report any threats that are detected. In essence, a firewall is like your computer’s gatekeeper. While antivirus software will scan the surrounding area, like internet sites and foreign objects, for threats, a firewall takes a more localized approach. It only scans the entry point of the computer. You could say that a firewall is more concerned with internal security. For instance, if malware makes it into your computer, your firewall will restrict the malware from communicating with the party to whom the malware is communicating.

    Today, many computers come with an inbuilt firewall. However, the firewall has to be activated and regularly updated for it to function at its optimum levels.

    Firewalls may also come as part of antivirus software. These are often overshadowed by the primary purpose of the antivirus which is to identify and neutralize threats from outside sources. Standalone firewalls are a better option. They are specialized for their functions and are much easier to use and configure than their embedded counterparts.

    4. Monitoring Internet Use

    Perhaps you might be wondering whether online security is only guaranteed by the use of technology and stopgap gizmos. The answer is no, but they do a pretty good job. Internet enthusiasts can also take personal steps to ensure their own internet security. One major step is to monitor their online activities both on mobile and PC.

    For mobile, it is vital for a person to know the sites they are visiting or applications that they download on their devices. Reading other users’ reviews will help in knowing whether the mobile software is secure or risky. For websites, you should be keen only to visit those sites that provide an extra level of security. Websites that begin with “https” are more secure than to that begin with “HTTP’. This is because the former encrypts transmissions while the latter does not.

    It is also important to remember to end your internet sessions once you are done. Logging out of your Facebook account, for instance, servers the link your device and the World Wide Web.

    5. Using VPN

    VPN stands for a virtual private network. It is a tool that helps internet regulars to conceal their identity. This tool is especially useful to a person that frequently uses public networks to connect to the World Wide Web. When using a public network, your computer or device is connected to all other users on that network. The VPN simulates a private network that operates as if you were the only person using that network. It, therefore, hides your device from other users and makes it inaccessible to hackers.

    Most cyber-attacks occur because people are negligent. They refuse to take the simple precautions such as logging out of their accounts or counter checking the links and sites that they visit. However, personal measures like these will only protect a user to a certain point. For guaranteed security, it is crucial for a person to seek the assistance of technology.




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