The internet can be a cruel place these days. It might offer an easy way to conduct businesses and keep in touch with loved ones and acquaintances, but it also leaves everyone vulnerable to one hazard which, if unchecked, can have catastrophic effects. Our vital information gets lost as a result of craftiness, ignorance, or outright carelessness on the daily basis. As much as web entrepreneurs encourage you to try their online services with the promise of confidentiality and security, we all still need to play our parts in order to avoid being “hacked” and having our online security compromised. If you’re curious as to how you can safeguard yourself against data theft, here are a few tips:
This might sound cliché, but monotony doesn’t undermine the importance of this tip in any way. Strong passwords are the first step to increasing our online security. Yes, passwords can be a burden, but without them, where would we be today? When creating passwords, here are a few pieces of nifty advice:
- Don’t use the same password for different accounts or profiles. Trust me. The day someone gets wind of what that password is, you could be ruined.
- Try as much as possible to combine characters. Letters mixed with numerals and maybe even a few special characters (if acceptable) will go a long way in improving your online security. Nevertheless, make sure these combinations are mixtures you can remember easily.
- By all means, avoid using personal or family milestones as passwords. I can guarantee you that the first thing a would-be thief who is familiar with you will try is your birthday. Avoid using other meaningful values such as birth year, your pet’s name, family occasions, etc. as passwords.
Beware Questionable Websites
Websites vary in terms of security and how trustworthy they are. When visiting a site that is not so trustworthy, your browser or antivirus, if up to date and fully functional, should send you a pop-up notification which indicates that you are about to venture into uncharted territories. Ignoring these seemingly trivial warnings could have dangerous consequences for the security of your vital information. My advice is that you heed the warnings. The same goes for downloads (music files, pictures, videos, PDFs, etc.) which are deemed dangerous by your browser or antivirus. The creators of some of these sites and downloadable files have built in bugs and embedded malware in them. This malware is designed to invade your privacy and steal your information. For the sake of your privacy and online security, you best avoid them. Regularly updating your computer’s software, which will in turn update your built-in browser, will also help in detecting new malicious websites.
Be Updated On Threats
For every good thing about technology, there is an equally bad one. Updates occur regularly on security avenues. In the same manner, scammers, hackers, internet fraudsters and other con men aren’t immune to evolution. Internet criminals also regularly change their tactics. If they become unable to forcefully invade your privacy (by old-fashioned hacks, for instance), they make you willingly surrender your freedom (through scam emails and false alerts, for example). Most times, these tactic changes become public knowledge and escalate quickly, causing untold amounts of information to be leaked before a solution can be provided. When it comes to protecting yourself online, anti-virus programs and other security measures can do a lot but can’t save you from your own ignorance. Being familiar with the latest scams and schemes out there certainly won’t hurt.
Get A Secure Web Hosting Service
Web hosting services are also very essential in securing your privacy. For people who transmit documents and other vital data by email, secure email hosting ensures that those documents are backed up, secure, and unhampered. Secure web hosting makes sure that for those who work over local servers and transfer important data, this data is sent and received over a secure connection. Business owners who make transactions over the internet deal with sensitive data such as social security numbers, ATM passwords, and other things of this nature. The respective data of their customers is also sometimes shared over these networks. In order to ensure the security of their clients, their clients’ information, and, in the long run, their own businesses, a secure web hosting service is required as a business owner. The additional security also gives you the liberty of planning for the future expansion of your business.
It’s always advisable to back up your important files regularly. Files, pictures, songs, etc. which you deem private and important can always be backed up to a cloud in case of a rainy day. You really never can tell what can happen in this age of data volatility, but you can sometimes protect yourself if you’re on the safer side. Getting and staying on that safer side is just a matter of backing up your data for the sake of your online security.
Guard Your Online Security When Using Other Computers
Often, we log on to some of our favorite social networks, check email deliverability, and make payments on other people’s (mostly friends’) browsers. In doing this, we inevitably provide some of our vital information on these computers and compromise our online security. If and when you do this, always remember to log out of your accounts on their computers and leave nothing open, especially when dealing with social networks. Your passwords could be changed, locking you out of your own user accounts and enabling someone else to steal your identity and perpetrate different crimes while posing as you. The extent of the potential damage is quite large.