Over the last decade, our reliance on the internet and digital services for both personal and official necessities has skyrocketed like never before.
It is now that we are experiencing the true power and abilities of the internet.
Especially during pandemic times, the internet is what allowed businesses around the world to at least partially function. Not just that, the internet is something that kept people like you and me sane during the fear-filled quarantine days of the pandemic.
Well, as the great saying goes, “with great power comes greater threats”, and that is very much true on the internet.
It is said that cybercrimes will cost over $10 trillion in damages by 2025, and these include attacks against individuals and businesses as well.
As the technology and security features advance, so do the techniques cyber terrorists use to gain access to your system and data.
Even if hackers are deploying advanced techniques and improving their skills, it doesn’t mean that everyone now needs to do a course on cybersecurity to stay safe on the internet.
Instead, there are simple yet highly effective steps that, if followed, are guaranteed to keep you safe on the internet from all the common attacks.
In this article, we will take you through some effective steps to stay safe on the internet.
Effective Steps to Stay Safe on the Internet
1. Use a VPN Service:
Virtual Private Network, or VPN, is a service used commonly to hide one’s online activity from others such as the government, hackers, etc.
While using a VPN service, all the traffic from your device passes through a virtual server located in random locations, before being redirected to the actual destination. Any data that comes from other sources, such as websites, also pass through this virtual server before reaching your device.
Thus, your traffic is tunneled through a virtual network, which makes it difficult for any third-party snooping in on your network to identify any data from the traffic.
There are several free VPN services out there. However, honestly speaking, the free VPN services offer really poor network connectivity and browsing speed.
On the other hand, if you’re ready to spend a bit, then you can find awesome best lifetime VPN deals at affordable rates.
2. Use a Password Manager:
Will you be shocked if I tell you that even in 2021, millions of people use “123456” as their account password?
Well, easy-to-guess passwords are something that gives hackers quick access to your online accounts and sensitive data.
Thus, you must always use strong & complex passwords for all your accounts. Even more important is that you don’t reuse a single password for more than one account.
But, creating strong passwords for each account and storing them can be quite a hassle.
This is where password management services come into the picture.
Password management services, or simply called password managers, are software tools that help you in creating strong passwords as well as storing them securely.
Most password managers come equipped with algorithms that can generate super-strong and truly random strings for passwords, which makes it extremely difficult for hackers to guess.
Moreover, once you choose to save the password(s) within the password manager, they are encrypted using the latest encryption techniques to ensure that hackers can’t gain access to your password from the password manager’s database either.
There are many features supported by password managers and a simple online search will give you the best options.
3. Always Keep your OS & Software Updated:
Software companies spend a huge amount of their operational budget in polishing their existing offerings from existing and probable cybersecurity threats.
This is why most trusted software manufacturers release updates for their existing products at least a couple of times each year.
Therefore, to ensure that you always stay on the safer side, make sure to update all the installed software on your devices to its latest available version for maximum security.
Just as updating your device’s installed software, you must update the operating system to its latest available version as well.
4. Use Multi-Factor Authentication:
Traditionally, we only enter our account username and password to gain access to that particular account.
However, if you’ve been observing, all major online platforms have been jumping onto the Multi-Factor Authentication method for login.
In Multi-Factor Authentication, or commonly known as Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), you have to establish your authenticity using some other method than your account password.
The other authentication method can be an OTP sent to your registered email address or phone number, a security question that you set while signing up for the account, or even a CAPTCHA.
5. Install Antispam and Antimalware Softwares:
Malware and phishing is still the most successful technique used by hackers to attack both individuals and businesses.
Even after so many years, there are still people that fall prey to the Nigerian prince scam and million-dollar scam.
One great way to ensure you stay away as much as possible from such email scams is by installing antispam software on your device. The antispam software will automatically detect emails from shady sources and block them, thus giving you peace of mind.
Similarly, protect your device(s) from malicious software installations by installing antimalware software. The antimalware software will scan all the files in your device as well as any new downloads/installations that happen to ensure that no malware infection occurs on your system.
What More Need to be Done to Stay Safe Online?
As we mentioned in the beginning, as the internet advances, so do the techniques used by cyberattackers.
And you know what contributes the most to successful cyberattacks?
A recent study found that over 90 percent of successful cyberattacks occur because of human error.
Thus, just as following the steps mentioned above, it is equally important that you proactively make decisions to stay away from online threats.
The first and most important thing you need to remember is that if something seems too good to be true, then it probably isn’t.
Proactive decisions on the internet include staying away from lucrative deals that suddenly pop in your email inbox, always only downloading files from official/trusted sources, keeping your passwords secure, etc.
We hope you found this article informative. In case you’d like to share some online safety tips of your own, feel free to leave them as comments below.