Today, basic activities such as shopping, banking and staying connected with friends are done online. However, there are associated risks with going online. Due to the current state of cyber crime growing by the day, it is important that you are vigilant and forearmed to protect yourself online.
Use unique passwords
Using simple and similar passwords because they are easy to remember is one of the biggest security mistakes you can make. An ideal password must be complex and hard to guess. Your password is strong if it is lengthy, contain capital letters, numbers and special characters. Entirely avoid using passwords that are related to something someone might know about you. Also, consider using a different password for each website that requires a login.
Use E-mails wisely
Your email can be read if it is intercepted by a third party. Ensure not to send personal information such as passwords, credit card information, social security number, and any other confidential information. If you notice any email in your spam folder, immediately delete them as it may contain offensive content, scams, viruses, and malware.
Be on the lookout for phishing
Clicking on an email link from a sender you do not recognize may lead to phishing sites that steal usernames and passwords. If you receive an email notification, from your bank, for example, do not log in through the email link. Alternatively, type the address into the bar yourself. Take note that legitimate companies will not send you an email requesting for your credit card information or other personal details.
Use safe browsers
The major browsers are Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge. It is sometimes the best to stick to these browsers due to their receptive reputation. Firefox offers good safety features such as automatically scanning downloads for malware and viruses. Chrome is usually website-friendly and Edge does a security update whenever Windows is being updated.
Avoid clicking on pop-up windows
Use the pop-up blocker that usually comes along with your browser. You can do this by making sure it is on. Resist clicking on any link that appears with a pop-up.
Update internet browser plug-ins
Most online attackers often find security vulnerabilities through browser plug-ins such as Adobe Flash. Always ensure all installed internet plug-ins are up-to-date.
Use legitimate anti-virus software
It is vital to use security software when working on your device online. Update your computer with the latest anti-virus definitions and set it to update automatically.
Protect yourself from typosquatters
Typosquatters are those that create illegal websites that looks almost identical to real websites. An example is the fictitious instargram.com for the real instagram.com. When a victim gets on their site and enters their username and password, the hacker harvests their information. Therefore, you should adequately examine each link when carrying out an internet search. Also, check for spelling errors.