According to a recent investigation report by Verizon, 12% of Internet users click on malicious link baits sent through phishing messages. Also, the report revealed that over 30% of phishing messages get opened by users.
Internet insecurity is beyond opening emails and downloading malicious software. In fact, there are more activities that threaten your online safety. The Internet is full of cases involving stolen identity, transaction fraud, hacking, and online harassment. Negative effects of the online world are well-known. However, Internet users have shown interests in masking their online identity. The PEW research center states that 86% of people have tried to minimize their online visibility.
Internet insecurity is beyond opening emails and downloading malicious software.
The Internet was primarily built for research. As a result, a lot of preference was on how to get information. So, we cannot anticipate that the net will be perfectly safe in future. To stay safe online, you have to take action. Practice the following ways and improve your safety online.
1. Safeguard Your Passwords
Instead of focusing on creating complex passwords, give more preference to safeguarding your passwords. Each password should be unique. While other people prefer using password generators and managers, the human memory is the best place to store passwords. If you cannot recall complex passwords, do not create them.
Even though everyone is at risk of having their passwords hacked, the cryptocurrency industry is adversely affected. The Guardian reported a case where $64M of Bitcoin was stolen. In addition, $4M of IOTA tokens were hacked in an online seed generator. This case explains why you should not use online password generators, as they are an easy target for hackers.
2. Practice The Internet Netiquette
As can be seen, the word netiquette came from the words “Internet” and “etiquette.” It is all about respecting other people’s opinions while practicing courtesy in online forums. Having empathy is a great netiquette rule. You imagine being in someone else’s shoes. Besides, you can adhere to netiquette principles by respecting other people’s time. With this rule in mind, the number of spam emails can reduce significantly.
Always share expert knowledge. For instance, there are plenty of cybercrime degrees and certifications. Unfortunately, only a fraction of people have interests in them. Through sharing expert information, users increase awareness. When online, try to control online wars. Internet safety improves when more people practice the basic principles of netiquette.
3. Do Not Download Everything
From apps to malware, free movies and games, it is difficult to think of a trusted download source. If you have a high online visibility, chances are you ever been a victim of a virus. For instance, offline pop-ups can be a tell-tale sign of malicious activities.
Attackers will always need access to the victim’s gadget. Since the process of getting physical access can be difficult, more hackers would let the victim download a given file. Fortunately, you can suspect and avoid files with unusual extensions.
Before downloading any file, make sure that your computer has an updated anti-virus.
4. Protect Sensitive Data
Currently, Internet users might not be in a position to fully protect their data. Popular websites like Twitter have a technology, which masks user’s passwords to safeguard it from company's workers.
All in all, the duty of protecting data lies to both businesses and the community. The basics of safeguarding data include clearing the cache, cookies, and backing up data.
Every day, there are new data-backing technologies. A highly developed recovery storage system can help protect massive data from any interference. In addition, a backup system helps in data recovery.
5. Update Software From Trusted Sources
A manufacturer’s website can be the most trusted place to find software updates. Updating software from any source can not only fail the updating software, but crash the entire computer. Even before updating any software, it is advised that you backup the data. Avoid fake software update requests. These requests are common while on public Wi-Fi.
The process of updating a software can be risky. On the other hand, an outdated software can have weaknesses vulnerable to attacks. So, the best option is to be careful while updating anything. In most cases, newer versions are stronger than previous software releases.
6. Secure Your Online Payment Systems
Almost all phishing attempts are after getting money. Hackers make use of available gadgets and information to access payment systems. For this reason, you have to do safe transactions. A safe online payment system should have an end to end encryption. To confirm this, read the financial product’s white paper.
Alternatively, consider using digital currencies. Cryptocurrencies are a more secure way of processing online transactions, as all transactions are anonymous. Billions of secure transactions happen every day due to its cryptography. Always validate that any payment system you use complies with the law, has data encryption, and performs regular assessments.
There are more ways of staying safe online. However, these tips protect the most important aspects of the online life. You are safe online if you protect your finance, tech equipment, and data. If you want to stay secure, then make use of the 6 proven ways to stay safe online.