Are you fully aware of the risks that you might encounter when you browse the internet? You can’t be complacent or you could be a victim of scams. The threat landscape constantly evolves as cybercriminals devise new ways to target internet users. Some of the biggest internet dangers include:
- Identity theft
- Data breaches
- Malware and viruses
- Phishing and scam emails
- Social engineering
To avoid these online dangers, it’s essential to be aware of the below-mentioned DO’s and DONT’s…
DO: Choose Strong Passwords
Passwords provide the first line of defense against unauthorized access to your computer and personal information. The stronger your password, the more protected your computer will be from hackers and malicious software. You should maintain strong passwords for all accounts on your computer.
DO: Stay Away from Suspicious Clickbait
Don’t click on links that will take you to unfamiliar websites that could potentially put your information in the hands of a scammer.
DO: Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) provides an additional layer of safety for your account. This helps deter scammers because it would require two pieces of evidence to verify the authenticity of the account owner, i.e. a password plus verification code sent to a phone number or email address.
DO: Be picky about what Wi-Fi you’re using
Hotspots and public Wi-Fi networks are often unsecured, meaning anyone can see what you’re doing on your device. Limit your activity and avoid logging into accounts that hold sensitive information. Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) or a personal/mobile hotspot.
DO: Keep your devices and apps up-to-date
Having the most up-to-date software and applications is the best defense against threats. If an app is no longer in use, just delete it to ensure your devices clutter-free and no longer housing unsupported or outdated apps.
DON’T stick with a Single Email Account
Your email is an essential factor for signing up on websites. Even when it comes to online banking, an email is required. But imagine forgetting your email login details. What will you do? What if an online criminal compromises your single email address? It would be smart to create multiple email accounts to help you with a back-up plan, so that you can still retrieve important data.
DON’T store Personal Card Details on Websites
Whether you are an avid online shopper or use them sparingly, it would not be wise to store your card details on websites. The more data you store on sites, the greater the chance of identity theft. You often have to take this risk when it comes to Personally Identifiable Information (PII), seeing as many services need basic personal details to create an account, but storing your financial information elsewhere is unnecessary.
DON’T share your password
You should never share your password or another individual’s password for the following reasons: Your unique IPFW username and password is your identity in the digital world. Sharing passwords at the workplace is the same as giving away a personal identity.
DON’T download illicit or unknown software
While you may be tempted to download the “free” version of software, which is commonly pirated, don’t! Downloading this kind of software from shady or spoofed websites can put your computer and data at risk of infection from a virus or even ransomware. Secondly, a business that has illicit software running on any of its computer is at risk for fines. If a website asks you to download or upgrade software to view the content, be cautious. It could be legitimate, but most of the time it’s a trick to get you to download malware.
DON’T click on any email you don’t recognize
Even if you do recognize the sender’s email address and see the email contains a link or attachment, call the sender. Verify the email was actually sent by the organization or individual since email addresses can be spoofed or an email account hacked.
Understanding how to navigate your security online will be an ongoing task as technology develops and changes. The more you make wise decisions, the less likely your identity is compromised. Cybercriminals are just waiting for you to make any wrong moves. The onus is really on you here. So be smart; be vigilant. Never let your guard down when browsing online.