It’s hard to not need the internet these days. When you need new information, need to read or answers emails from work, get in touch with people who don’t have working phones, or even ordering something that exclusively sold online–connectivity to the internet is crucial. Criminals take this certainty and abuse it which is why everyone is vulnerable to a cyber attack. Hackers will try to steal your credit card numbers, tax records, and even passwords.
To avoid this, it’s important that you arm yourself with the necessary knowledge on how to really protect yourself when you go online. Today, we discuss four tips on how you can avoid being a victim online.
1.) Craft Strong Passwords
One of the oldest tricks in the book but still rings true to this day. Passwords should be difficult to hack and crack. To avoid building a weak password incorporate capital letters, numbers, and special characters in it. As much as possible make the password more than six words. Also, never reuse your passwords for any of your other accounts. Reusing passwords makes it very easy for unscrupulous people to gain access to more than one of your accounts.
A good example of a strong password is t1R0p!h&Y. Review your own current set of passwords and change them if they aren’t ‘strong’.
2.) Be cautious when using Instant Messaging programs
Since connectivity is all the rage, companies have constantly strove to provide the public with better instant messaging programs. This does not mean, however, that hackers do not find ways to infiltrate these programs and create bots to engage actual users. They create various profiles to message actual users and mimic initial conversation before enticing the user to click a certain link that the bot provides. These links are often phishing attempts or worse.
To save yourself from being a victim of online bots and their dubious links, do not engage with a sudden message from strangers. A common rule of thumb for savvy instant messaging users is that they only speak to people they know or are expecting a message from.
3.) Be a sharp online shopper
Before typing in your credit card information, make sure that the website is using secure technology. The moment you visit a shop’s website and when you’re at the checkout page, make sure that the web address begins with HTTPS. This refers to Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure–having the web address start with this means that all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted.
Also, do not entertain pop-ups. Only engage with the actual tab opened in your browser. Be mindful of mimic pop-up pages that may try to get your credit card information.
4.) Be careful about how you use your email
As email is one of the primary avenues in which businesses interact with each other and with their employees, it is a treasure trove that hackers are just dying to crack into. The trouble about email is that even if you, personally, have good PC security–your recipients may not.
So to be safe, never share sensitive information in any email. Never send your credit card information, social security number, and other private information via email.