How to Defend Yourself From Cybercrime

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( — February 3, 2022) — Cybercrime is something that nearly every person will suffer from while they’re online.  Whether this means someone gaining access to one of your accounts or you accidentally clicking a link that spams your computer, there are multiple ways that criminals can ensure that the internet is unsafe for you. So it would help if you did what you could to make it safe for yourself.

Don’t Click Unfamiliar Links in Emails

This is one of the first things we learn when we start using the internet, and it’s an important lesson that we should remember throughout our entire lives.  Don’t click any links that you don’t know the origin of.  If you’re checking your emails and see a link from an email address you’ve never seen before, report it as spam and move on.  Don’t fall for this simple trick that can lead to everything from downloading viruses or phishing for your information.

Be Aware of What You’re Downloading

Pay attention to what you’re downloading.  Although illegal music downloads aren’t as common as in the early 2000s, many people are still downloading media from sites that don’t have great reputations for honesty or safe practices.  Do what you can to verify that everything you download is safe, pay attention to the type of file that starts to download, and be cautious of any .exe files that show up when you didn’t mean to install a program.

Consider Using a VPN to Protect Yourself

If you want to protect yourself from being visible on the internet, consider protecting your IP address and location through a good VPN.  Although nobody can do an IP lookup on your devices as easily as you can if they have this information, they can easily trace what city you’re in, what internet server you use, and possibly other information you should try to protect.  Criminals often spoof random IP addresses to cover where they are: save yourself from being framed for something you didn’t do.

Pay Attention to What Sites You Visit

Carefully consider every website you visit and think whether this is a smart or safe decision for your digital well-being.  Although there are billions of websites out there, it’s dangerous to put yourself at risk by visiting any that feel dangerous or that your browser will warn you about.  Many browsers, like Chrome, are built with safety features that can help protect you from malicious sites or links, so trust them when they warn you that you don’t want to proceed to the place you clicked into.

Keep Complicated and Varied Passwords

Your passwords shouldn’t be the same on every website you use: and they shouldn’t be easy to memorize.  You can keep a booklet of passwords, but this becomes a liability if anyone gets their hands on it.  Consider allowing your browser to remember and generate random passwords for you to gain access to your accounts.  If all of your accounts have the same password and even one gets leaked, that puts every single online point you use at risk.