The Internet offers end number of opportunities to grow, learn, share and explore new things, but at the same time you must remember to keep to keep some things to yourself. It’s important to keep your personal information safe and secure, away from prying eyes.
Cyber crime is extremely common these days and a lot of us fall prey to numerous cyber crime activities, without even being aware of it! A criminal might try to gain access to your information – like your email password, banking details or other personal information by installing malware on your computer, trying to hack into your account, or tricking you into giving them the information.
It has become exceedingly important to keep all your confidential information secure. So whether you’re an Internet noob or a newbie, read on to know a few tips we think might help you navigate the web safely 🙂
Secure Your Passwords! (Age old tip, but extremely important!)
So you’ve been really clever and set your password as your pet’s name or God forbid, your own name and you’ve browsing the internet and signing up on sites like it’s nobody’s business. But hey! You DO know that right from your friends to people you interact with daily; everyone knows these details about you!
You need to pick a password which is tough but easy to remember (FOR YOU!). Adding numbers, symbols and mixed-case letters makes it harder for would-be snoops or others to guess or crack your password. And if you know you’ll forget your passwords and prefer writing down your passwords, do so, but keep them in a safe place which no one has access to.
Save your Identity from being Stolen!
See two of you on the Internet and you don’t know why? Go back and check all the links you may have clicked on recently. You’ll find the answer.
Always be wary of any messages or sites that ask for your personal information, or messages that refer you to an unfamiliar web page asking for any of the following details:
- Social Security numbers
- Bank account numbers
- PINs (Personal Identification Numbers)
- Full credit card numbers
- Your mother’s maiden name
- Your birthday
Also, pay close attention when asked to sign in online. First, look at the address bar in your browser to see if the URL looks real. You should also check to see if the web address begins with https:// – which signals that your connection to the website is encrypted and more resistant to snooping or tampering. Some browsers also include a padlock icon in the address bar beside https:// to indicate more clearly that your connection is encrypted and you are more securely connected.
Lock that device!
Yes, we do know that it’s rather a bother to lock your laptop or your computer when you’re just stepping out for a couple of minutes, but DO IT! You might get ‘Fraped’ on Facebook by friends, but when you’re on a shared computer; you never know who can browse through your profiles and meddle with your personal details.
You wouldn’t go out for the day and leave your front door wide open, right? The same principle applies to the devices you use.
Is that Network Secure?!
It’s good to be extra careful whenever you go online using a network you don’t know or trust – like using the free Wi-Fi at your local cafe. The service provider can monitor all traffic on their network, which could include your personal information.
Check for signals about your connection with the website when you surf the web. When you connect through a public Wi-Fi network, anyone in the vicinity can monitor the information passing between your computer and the Wi-Fi hotspot if your connection is not encrypted. Avoid doing important activities like banking or shopping over public networks.
Secure your home Wi-Fi network too; if criminals are able to access your router, they can change your settings and snoop on your online activity. Password protect your Wi-Fi and set a password that only you and your family members know.
Illegal Activity? Report it ASAP!
You can help yourself and others stay safe online by reporting people or companies who send spam, try to sell counterfeit goods, distribute malware. Most email providers, including Gmail, allow you to report suspicious emails and scams. Reporting a suspicious message in Gmail will help block that user from sending you more emails.
Bust those Jargons!
The web can be confusing, and we’ve all come across some terms that don’t make much sense. Like viruses. Or IP addresses. Or spyware. Google’s complied a rather comprehensive list of most used technical terms on the Internet. Check it out here.
You can check out another Google link which explains a lot of things about the Internet.
What security measures have you used to secure yourself online? Share them with us in the comments section below. Stay safe, stay secure 🙂