As with any platform involving the exchange of information, the average Internet user is susceptible to varying sorts of breaches of security and privacy. From fake “Download” buttons on those torrent websites we love so much, to innocent-seeming ads on social networking websites, the Internet is teeming with traps just waiting to catch us. With that in mind, here are a few ways to bolster the safety of your online activities.
Make the Time To Review Social Network Privacy Settings
You know those occasional, slightly intrusive reminders from Facebook to check your privacy settings? As unnecessary or time-consuming as they may seem, they are truly there for a reason. Not only do they help you regulate who has access to your posts, they also aid you in setting up security measures to protect your account. These may include such processes as two-step verifications (yes, the days of straining to remember your childhood pet’s name may be behind you!).
Invest In Original Anti-Virus Software
It’s true; if you know where to look, you can download almost anything for free off of the Internet – including anti-virus software. These can, in turn, be converted into re-sellable computer programs easily packed into CD-ROMs available at your nearest electronics store, being sold at less than half of the original price. But is it worth saving a little money at the risk of making your computer vulnerable to even more viruses? Probably not. While original anti-virus software can be pricey, counterfeits actually further endanger your computer’s security.
Check the Verification Of Online Retailers
Nothing beats the feeling of leaning back in the comfort of your own home, browsing through products and placing orders at your own will. However, shopping online requires you to share sensitive information such as your credit card number, your phone number, or your home address; information that can make you vulnerable at the hands of a hacker. Thus it is of crucial importance to verify the validity of the retailers you buy from. One of the ways to do this is to ask to see the retailer’s security certification. For example, when looking to buy flats for sale in Dhaka, it is usually safe to give your information, just make sure you go to the right websites!
Follow Password Guidelines
According to one study, one of the most common passwords on the Internet today being “password,” therefore it’s no surprise that creating a password on any website these days has so many requirements (uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols, the whole deal). But these are not for nothing: it has been observed time and again by tech experts that a longer password almost certainly guards against brute-force security breaches. And on that note…
Avoid Using the Same Password for Different Websites
Yes, we’ve all done it. “It’s impossible to remember more than one password!” you might say, and most people would agree with you. However, using the same password across different websites is no different than handing over information to hackers on a silver platter. However that is why password managers exist: take the time to look through your smartphone’s app store for a password manager, which will help you keep track of your different passwords.
Use an Ad-Blocking Software
Most of the websites an average internet user frequents typically depend on advertisements to generate revenue. That’s how Facebook knows just which pages you might be interested in “Liking”—because companies are paying them to do just that. However, not all ad links are legitimate. The way to combat these intrusive ads is to download an ad-blocking software. These can typically be downloaded as an extension to your browser, which not only makes your browsing experience a smoother one, but also steers you away from potentially harmful links.
While the internet is virtual for all intents and purposes, the dangers to our security it poses are very real. Thus, it is always wiser to take a few extra safety measures than not.