The internet is an excellent place for you to spend your time. However, as with most things in life, there are drawbacks, with the internet, it’s in the area of security.
In the real world we have to worry about intrusion, theft of property as well as physical harm. In the virtual world we also have to worry about harms, just like in the real world. Because we’re almost always online, all throughout the year, our privacy and security is vulnerable to the countless threats that exist in the virtual arena.
The good thing is that with the right internet security tips, it’s possible for you to learn about the various harms and how to counteract them.
In this post, I’ve devised a list of 6 of the best tips for a strong and secure presence on the internet:
1. Use Strong Passwords
It doesn’t take the best hackers much time to crack a password. The reality is that there are tons of passwords cracking software out there, that even non-hackers can use them to crack a password.
Despite this reality, there are lots of users online that still use basic passwords. Did you know that the password “123456” is still amongst the most common?
You should never dismiss the importance of having a strong password. You want your password to contain numbers, letters and special characters (if supported). You should also use capitals to further increase the strength of your password.
In order to add an additional layer of security to your personal, financial and social account, you should use 2-factor authentication. This means, users will be required to not only know your password to enter your account, but also supply a special code, a code which will be sent to the mobile phone of the user in the form of a text message or voice call.
2. Keep Your Software Up-To-Date
You should always ensure that your operating system and programs are up-to-date. Make sure you have the latest security patches installed on all your devices.
• Turn on Automatic Updates so that updates are immediately downloaded and installed, the moment they are made available.
• Stick to the most popular browsers like Firefox and Chrome, as they are constantly updated with new security patches.
• Make sure all your browser plug-ins is kept up-to-date.
3. HTTPS Sites Are Secure
Sites that begin with https:// are secure, as they use a combination of Secure Socket Layer (SSL)/Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol and Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), this means data sent between the website and your browser is always encrypted. HTTPS prevents hackers from hijacking your data as and when it’s transferred to the site.
4. Be Cautious When Using Public WiFi
One thing that many people are unaware of is that when they are sitting down, maybe at their favorite restaurant accessing the internet via a public WiFi they are at a huge risk of someone intercepting their data.
Hackers love unprotected WiFi networks, as they can very easily intercept and access the personal data of its users. Make sure you turn off file sharing before you access a public WiFi network. When using one of these public services, try not to log into anything that requires you to input a password.
5. Never Leave Devices Unattended
This is common sense I suppose. Leaving your laptop or smartphone unattended while connected to a social network service, such as Instagram or Facebook is simply asking for trouble. Make sure your browser session is finished and you are logged out of all services, even when at home.
It’s also very important that you take the necessary security measures in the event that your unattended device is stolen. As a preventative measure, having Device Location turned on, will ensure you can always keep track of it. Additionally, you could download and install a third-party tracking tool, which you can use to locate the device.
6. Back Things Up
It’s always best practice for you to back up both your online and offline data. All your personal documents, photos, videos and confidential data should be stored on a separate storage device or a cloud. This will ensure that you are able to access your data, in the event of a security threat.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website www.compuchenna.co.uk.