6 Online Security Essentials For Internet Users

6 Online Security Essentials For Internet Users

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:

Strong Passwords

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.

Backup Frequently

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.


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Tanvir Zafar

Software Engineer at GCUF

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Last Updated on October 18, 2018

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

When it comes to starting your own business and pursuing your dream of becoming an entrepreneur, it can be advantageous to go all in and embrace the flexibility of finally quitting your day job.

Keep in mind, though, that it takes a special kind of person to take the business world by storm: a person who has cultivated the key characteristics of entrepreneurial success.

People with these characteristics are likely to succeed, whereas people without them have difficulty moving forward with even the most brilliant business ideas.

These characteristics of an entrepreneur are so important that I’ve decided to cover all 10 of them in detail so that you can start your business with your best foot forward.

1. Successful Entrepreneurs Practice Discipline

Plenty of business experts claim that you can’t get anywhere as an entrepreneur without vision or creativity, but that’s simply not the truth. Instead, the one quality that no entrepreneur can be successful without is discipline.

To build an idea into a business, you have to have the discipline to spend time slogging through the least fun parts of running a business (like the bookkeeping), rather than taking that time to do something fun.

Andrew Carnegie, one of the most financially successful Americans of all time, grew up working dull and difficult jobs in factories. Despite going to bed hungry some nights, he continued doing his best work. He was eventually hired by a railroad company and continued to move up the ladder until starting his own successful businesses. Carnegie is a fine example of an entrepreneur dedicated to discipline and hard work. He truly earned his dreams of prosperity and success.

When you’re the boss, there’s no one to keep you at work except yourself — and there’s no short-term consequences for skipping out early.

Sure, if an entrepreneur plays hooky enough he knows that the business just won’t happen, but it’s very hard to convince someone that ‘just this once’ won’t hurt (and to keep ‘just this once’ from becoming a daily occurrence).


2. Successful Entrepreneurs Keep Calm

Things go wrong when you run your own business.

Most entrepreneurs go through crises with their businesses — and more than a few wind up with outright failures on their hands. But when you’re responsible for a business, you have to be able to keep calm in any situation. Any other reaction — whether you lose your temper or get flustered — compounds the problem.

Instead, a good entrepreneur must have the ability to keep his cool in an emergency or crisis. It may not make the problem easier to solve, but it certainly won’t make it harder.

Honestly, losing your calm is a quick path to becoming the kind of person who gives up in the face of adversity. Instead giving in to frustration, remember classic entrepreneur Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin kept his calm as he experimented and tweaked his inventions again and again in pursuit of success. He didn’t give up during his many failures – he chose to innovate. You can choose innovation, too.

If an entrepreneur can handle failure without frustration or anger, s/he can move past it to find success.

3. Successful Entrepreneurs Pay Attention to Details

Restricting your attention to the big picture can be even more problematic than ‘sweating the small stuff.’

As an entrepreneur, unless venture capital has magically dropped out of the sky, a small expense can be a killer. It’s attention to detail that can make a small business successful when it has competition and it’s attention to detail that can keep costs down.

Attention to detail can be difficult to maintain — going over ledgers can be tedious even when you aren’t trying to pay close attention — but keeping your eye on a long-term vision is just asking for a problem to sneak in under a radar.


After a business grows, an entrepreneur might be able to hire someone to worry about the details. In the beginning, though, only one person can take responsibility for the details.

Skeptical about the importance of details? Look no further than Howard Schultz, who grew a small coffee shop called Starbucks into one of the most globally successful coffee businesses in the world through his extreme attention to detail.

He is famous for taking all aspects of growing a business into account, paying attention not only to financially smart business decisions, but also focusing on socially responsible business decisions. Details can take you far.

4. Successful Entrepreneurs Embrace Risks

No entrepreneur has a sure thing, no matter how much money s/he stands to earn on a given product. Even if a product tests well, the market can change, the warehouse can burn down and a whole slew of other misfortune can befall a small business.

It’s absolutely risky to run a business of your own and while you can get some insurance, it’s not like most investment options. Even worse, if something does go wrong, it’s the entrepreneur’s responsibility — no matter the actual cause. In order to deal with all of that without developing an ulcer, you have to have a good tolerance for risk.

You don’t need to channel your inner frat boy and take on absolutely stupid risks, but you need to know just how much you can afford to risk — and get a good idea of how likely you are to lose it. If the numbers make you uncomfortable, the risk is too great.

Embracing risks is essential for growth and additional success, as well. Walt Disney, for example, could have stayed comfortable with his advances in the film and animation industries, but decided to expand his brand with a new dream: a theme park that soared above the competition. Without taking this risk, the incredibly successful Disney theme park empire would never have come about.

An entrepreneur has to be willing to accept pretty big risks, with some level of comfort.

5. Successful Entrepreneurs are Balanced

You can take any characteristic too far. There’s a point at which attention to detail can become obsession or calm can become unemotional response.


As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to balance your characteristics, getting the most of them without going over the edge. But balance for an entrepreneur goes far beyond keeping your characteristics in check, though.

Just as an entrepreneur doesn’t have a boss to keep them at work when necessary, they don’t have one to send them home when they’re done. If you are working for yourself, you have to decide how to balance your work and home life — and if you have a day job to add into the equation, balance just gets more complicated.

Oprah Winfrey, one of the most successful and influential entrepreneurs out there, understands the importance of balance. Winfrey has a lot going on; she runs her own media kingdom, acts, produces films, publishes print, and more. In an interview with Fast Company,[1] she talks about her efforts to balance priorities and self care, saying that she must ask herself what is truly important in each limited day.

You may or may not have as much on your plate as Oprah, but learning how to balance whatever you have going on in life will certainly help you farther along down the road as you learn to be a great entrepreneur.

6. Successful Entrepreneurs are Passionate and Motivated

In order to develop any of the above characteristics, you must have a foundation of passion. Staying disciplined day after day during the building of your business takes unrivaled motivation.

Before you start any business, ask yourself if you can sustain true excitement about your idea during even the darkest days ahead of you. If the answer is yes, then good for you! Nurture your natural motivation by taking these action steps throughout your business journey:

  • Commit to making short and long-term goals. Check in with them often to stay on task.
  • Have a plan in place for the inevitable days when you feel discouraged. Make a list of things that will help keep you motivated and focused.
  • Share your ideas with trusted individuals who are just as excited as you are. They will help keep your enthusiasm rolling even when you are feeling down.

By being prepared for apathetic days and holding fast to your authentic passion, you can actually enjoy your journey to success.

7. Successful Entrepreneurs Adapt

Remember this one word: flexibility. Seasoned entrepreneurs know that change is not only a part of life, but also a part of the business world. Expect change and choose to adapt.

As a new entrepreneur, it will be tempting to cling to your original business plan with no exceptions, even if you notice it isn’t working. Good entrepreneurs know that it’s okay to make smart, informed changes in order to ensure efficiency.


8. Successful Entrepreneurs are Marketing and Sales Experts

No matter what kind of business you are starting, a knowledge of marketing and sales will save you many headaches. A passion for creating a beautiful handmade lifestyle product is not enough to run a successful lifestyle brand; it is critical that you understand key business principles in addition to your natural skills or great product line.

Not sure how to start? Taking business courses is a great idea, but you can also easily brush up on sales and marketing through free online resources. Check out these 10 Sales Skills Everyone Should Master To Be Successful to begin now.

9. Successful Entrepreneurs Have Strong Money Management

Along with sales and marketing skills, money management is a very useful tool in the box of the entrepreneur. Understanding how to best manage your money can be the difference between early success and early failure in the business world.

If money management isn’t your strongest skill, prepare to hire a financial expert to help you with any tricky business that comes up. Financial guidance and knowledge is never a bad idea.

10. Successful Entrepreneurs Ask Questions and Continually Improve

Pride is a natural human quality, but it’s important to humbly conduct some constructive criticism every now and again on both yourself as a leader and your new business as a whole.

Assess how things are going and be willing to make positive changes if necessary. Here’re 15 ways to cultivate lifelong learning.

If you are always improving, then how can you ultimately fail?

The Bottom Line

Let me remind you of one important fact: the qualities of an entrepreneur listed here are not exclusively available to some people and elusive to others.

Although some people may have natural strengths and weaknesses, these qualities can be learned by anyone interested in taking up the entrepreneurial challenge. It might not be easy to change old habits, but it is absolutely possible to cultivate these characteristics in yourself.

Whether you’re a business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, with hard work, you can train yourself to develop the qualities that truly determine the entrepreneurial spirit and future success.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via


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