Caution – Not Every Click Leads to Information Online

internet-security-and-threats

We human beings dislike change; embracing the unknown is undoubtedly scary. We love everything that is familiar and consistent, anything that shakes us up is usually unwelcomed, but one thing that we welcomed into our lives with open arms and which completely transformed our lives is the Internet. But the irony is, Internet safety has become one of the biggest issues that are being faced by millions of users online.

The Internet has indeed revolutionized our world like nothing else. It has become an integral part of our lives to the point that it is now our most preferred way of everyday communication, but in between that ease, comfort, and convenience, internet safety is somewhere being compromised due to our own negligence. No matter how much we try to ignore it, the fact is internet security is now a global phenomenon.

How Deeply The Internet is embedded in our lives?

The Internet is weaved into almost everything we do now, from ordering food to shopping, business to banking, making friends to even dating, everything has become more convenient and accessible with the advent of the internet. But sadly, very little attention is given to internet safety.

If you only take a minute to reflect on your everyday routine, you will find that we never go offline, we are connected 24×7, and without having anything planned for our own internet safety is surely something to be concerned about.

As I sat down to write this article, I realized that I am using the Internet to write this piece, to stream my music, to connect with my friends, to socialize generally, to order, to shop and to do pretty much everything, without taking any internet safety precautions. So I am not different to millions of other netizens out there.

But if anything is vigorous and powerful enough to revolutionize the way we live our lives then it can also be mishandled to cause harm. Along with benefits comes its hazards too, ignoring the internet safety measures these days is kind of a risky business keeping in mind the hacking attempts and data theft that is becoming so common that it barely makes any news.

But Wait!

We are not here to scare you. We are just stating facts about how significant internet safety is. There is no reason to shut off your internet connection and go offline forever, instead, you just need to tread carefully and learn the art of staying safe online.

Just like we have good and bad neighborhoods in regular towns, we have good and bad people on the internet too. Therefore, all you need is to steer clear of the wrong and you are ready to go. This shouldn’t come to you as a surprise that your data online is not as secure as you would like to think it is.

Millions of dollars are being spent on cyber security and internet safety because safeguarding the data is more crucial for the companies than anything else. The reason is simple; Internet is the place where all the secrets are, which if gets leaked can lead to destruction.

How big of a deal is Internet Safety?

Internet Safety is imperative if you don’t want your personal information in the hands of data thieves, hackers or snoopers.

Just imagine, all your pictures on your phone right now gets in the hand of someone with malicious intent?

Every click online potentially exposes your sensitive information to hundreds of cyber thieves, and you don’t have to be a hot-shot businessman or a celebrity to be afraid for your cyber safety. Any information of yours; be it be your social security number, your name, your credit card information, your social media accounts, etc. can be gold if put into wrong hands. So staying safe online is essential.

But how? One word answer is: Use a VPN connection!

Are you a responsible netizen?

Statistics show that many people are not aware of internet safety, while many don’t have proper knowledge about antiviruses and VPN’s; many don’t consider the consequences of documenting every minute of their life on social media.

According to one statistic, about 15 million people in US alone have their identities stolen via the internet and used fraudulently. Thousands of crimes are committed each year globally using stolen identities; Credit cards issued in their names drowning them in the ocean of debt that they may never recover from.

The simple looking popup you clicked that wanted you to fill a little survey could install spyware on your device giving the cyber burglars open access to your personal information. Internet safety has become a prime concern for anyone going online.

The radical boom in social media has also opened many new opportunities for criminals. Letting everyone know that you are not home on social media is not the brightest idea when you posted two days ago that you got new diamond earrings from your husband for your anniversary.

There are many documented cases of kidnappings and even murders (Craigslist Killer, Ring a bell?) due to oversharing on social media. Our intention is in no way to scare you; we are all for the internet but our strong advice is to stay safe online. There are many internet precautions you can take that ensure your internet safety. We have put together a list of internet safety tips for you so that you are 100% sure about your internet safety the next time you go online. So enough of scary stuff; let’s jump into the to-do list.

1. Use a Strong Password

The password is a key to your account, so make sure it’s not a common one. Your password should be unique and hard to guess. We all cringe when some sites ask you to use one capital letter, one special character, 1 number and what not in a password but that’s all to make our accounts more secure. Don’t be lazy and predictable with your passwords, use numbers instead of letters and most importantly; change your password every few months.

2. Scrutinize the Terms While Installing Programs

Admitting that you have never read the terms and conditions while installing a program is not a crime, nobody ever reads it which is why many people end up compromising their internet safety. Read the terms and conditions carefully and if it’s requesting more information than its needs to, terminate immediately. Many sites automatically sign you up for their newsletters, sell your information to third parties or even install tracking software that tracks your browsing behavior. It is up to you to stop them from doing all this.

Admitting that you have never read the terms and conditions while installing a program is not a crime, nobody ever reads it which is why many people end up compromising their internet safety. Read the terms and conditions carefully and if it’s requesting more information than its needs to, terminate immediately. Many sites automatically sign you up for their newsletters, sell your information to third parties or even install tracking software that tracks your browsing behavior. It is up to you to stop them from doing all this.

3. Sharing Personal Details Online

It is not a wise idea to share your personal information online with strangers. Many dating sites, chatrooms and social media sites are filled with people pretending to be someone they are not. If you do decide to meet someone you’ve only talked to online then always arrange these meetings in public and crowded places. This is not only a threat to your internet safety but also your personal safety.

4. Don’t get Phished

Phishing scams are the most common types of scams people quickly fall prey to. Many people don’t know that cyber safety is being compromised while dealing with these scams because they use the names of legitimate organizations you’ve previously done business with. If it’s asking for any personal information and asking you to click a link, don’t do it. Instead, always contact the company directly by calling them or visiting their website to confirm the legitimacy of the email you have received.

5. Stay Away From Online Scams

If a website congratulates you with a pop-up saying you are the 5000th visitor of their website hence you win a million dollars, it’s a scam. If a Nigerian Prince Ochikawa Nzeogwu has emailed you expressing the desire to do business with you by transferring you a sum of 20 million dollars, it’s a scam. Anything on the internet that seems too good to be true is most definitely a scam. Don’t fall for them, don’t click them. Just don’t.

6. Protect Your Connection

You are exposed to risks of viruses, spyware, malware, etc. the minute you are connected to the internet. How to stay away from them you ask? It is as simple as installing an anti-virus and an anti-spyware program.

Using a Virtual Private Connection is also a great way of protecting your online communication. It creates a secure tunnel over your network and any communication that passes through is encrypted and undecipherable giving you complete anonymity and security.

7. Download Responsibly

Download files only from the sources and sites that you trust. Many sites that offer free downloads install extra programs on your device too so be careful while downloading from any unverified sites.

8 – Use a VPN

Many of us crave for a free public wifi like a zombie in search for something to eat. But in the midst of reaping the benefits of free wifi we forget that our online privacy and security is at stake. Anyone can easily hack into our device as it’s a shared network and you are exposed. That is where a VPN comes in like a savior and hides your online activities and makes you anonymous online.

With these internet safety tips, you are as safe as you possibly can be. Accidents can happen even if you are the best driver out there, all you can do is tighten your seatbelt so implement these tips and stay safe online.