Everything You Need to Know About Protecting Yourself Online

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(Newswire.net — February 13, 2020) — These days, there is a certain level of risk that comes with simply logging onto the internet. If you aren’t careful, you could find that your devices become infected or your personal information is stolen. But with just a few simple precautions, you can make these bad outcomes a lot less likely. To that end, here’s everything you need to know about protecting yourself online.

How Encryption Works

Encryption is at the heart of all safety procedures online. With encryption, your personal data is transmitted in a way that is unable to be read by malicious actors. There are different levels of encryption, some that are stronger than others. Take some time to learn about how this process works by reading this encryption guide. This will give you a solid foundation to help you understand how the other security measures on this list work.

Strong Passwords

One of the best things you can do to protect yourself online is to use strong passwords. Whenever you need to log into a site, whether it’s to check your email, your social media networks, or track an online order, the site will often require a password. If you don’t choose a strong password, it’s easy for malicious actors to guess what it is and steal your information. So, whenever you need to use a password online, you should make sure that it’s tough to guess. You can do this by using a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers and symbols. It’s also a good idea to use different passwords on each site.

Once you have started creating some strong passwords, you may have trouble remembering them. A great thing you can do is download a password manager tool. This tool will store all your passwords within it, which is then protected by one master password. That way, you only have to remember the password to that one piece of software rather than all your individual passwords. Just be sure to give that software a very strong password, as someone gaining access to it would be very harmful.

Using Trustworthy Sources

Something you need to look out for online are untrustworthy sources. There are websites specially designed to steal your information that you could end up on by accident. Any time a website requests information from you, you should check the reliability of the site. Do some research on the website and make sure it is well known. Also, you can usually see if the site has encryption by looking to see if the web address contains “https” rather than just “Http”. Last of all, use your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right about a website, leave it and find another.  

Connecting to Safe WiFi Networks

If you connect to the internet anywhere outside your house, it’s important that you trust the WiFi networks you are connecting to. Many public WiFi networks allow other computers on that network to see one another. This means if a bad actor also connects to that WiFi network, they could potentially hack into your computer or mobile device. 

When connecting to public WiFi networks, make sure they are secure. If the only options available to you are unsecured ones, then you should be careful about what you do on your computer while connected. Stay away from sharing any sensitive information over the internet, just to be on the safe side.

Using Public Computers

Finally, just like you need to take precautions when connecting to public WiFi, you also need to be careful if you’re using a public computer. It’s easy for bad actors to install malicious software on public computers and log the information entered. For example, someone could install a keylogger program on a library computer and keep track of all the usernames and passwords someone enters. Now, after you tried to pay your bills online while at the library, someone was able to get your bank account login info. Always be careful when using public computers and restrict what you do them. 

Make Online Safety a Priority

It’s unfortunately all too easy to become the victim of a cybercrime online. But if you’re able to take some simple precautions, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim. All it takes is a little more attention to the devices you’re using, how you’re connecting to the internet, the websites you’re visiting and the passwords you’re using. If you can do this, hopefully, you’ll be able to browse the internet without fear of bad actors.