In the past 10 or 15 years, we’ve seen so many malicious software, leaked emails, hacked emails, hacked smartphones, and everything else related to internet security. To be fair, our web security is much better than it was say 15 years ago. There was a time we used the dial-up connection, and that was probably one of the most secure connections.
Nowadays, we live in an era of wireless networks, social networks, and much more. All the advancement in technology has made our live easier. However, it has also made our live less secure. Our internet connection is at constant risk, and we have to be extremely careful not to hit on some virus or other malicious software.
So, with that being said, what can you do to protect yourself? Just saying be careful will not cut it anymore. There are things you absolutely cannot do online. Here are some ways you can make sure your internet connection is secured.
Do not trust open Wi-Fi
The temptation is there, and it is real. We all love these public Wi-Fi networks, especially when we are visiting a foreign country, or we’ve run out of cellular data. They come as blessings when we need an internet connection, and we have none. And they save us from the awkward and for some shameful aspect of asking for the Wi-Fi password.
But the reality is that these open Wi-Fi hotspots are breeding ground for malicious software. You cannot trust the legitimacy of the network. Sometimes, hackers and internet criminals use common names for hotspots and they set them up in public area. And even if the network is legitimate, there is still the safety issue of everyone having access to it.
Now, if you absolutely must connect to the internet at that moment and use the network, make sure to use it safely. That means no financial transactions, shopping, checking bank accounts and similar. Just Facebook and Instagram, thank you.
Choosing simple passwords
Every year, we come up across an article “Top 10 worst internet passwords”. And despite that, people still use simple and easy to guess passwords. That does not mean you should make your password “Mk412jkKlNHD4”. Just think of something random you know, but not everyone around you. And use a password checker to see if your password is strong enough. Some common tips: when using numbers, avoid 123 or 321. Mix it up.
Using only one password
Again, the temptation is there. Not many people can remember all of their passwords. So they find one good, strong password that they use for absolutely everything. You need to have more than one password. In fact, you need at least three to five different passwords that you use for different internet accounts. One for Facebook, one for your email, one for your bank account, one for Amazon, and the list goes on.
Being careless with login credentials
Let’s get something clear: login credentials are yours, and yours only. There is only one way that you can make sure nobody is malicious and won’t exploit your login credentials. And that way is to keep the info to yourself.
Letting everyone know you are not home
A common status people write these days on Facebook is “Going out to the (x) city for two weeks. Cannot wait”. Or, I am going to enjoy the beach for the next 10days. Or photos that are tagged, and show viewers where you are. It would be better to keep this information to yourself and to your friends only.
Email address in a comment
Websites like Quora offer users online great way to find answers to popular questions. And we love Quora. But what some people do is leave their email address in the comment, as a way to get in touch with someone. Never, ever leave your email address in a comment on a blog post. Or in your Facebook posts. Your privacy might be set, but you never know if your friend’s privacy is set.
Reveal your phone number
This is one of the stupidest things we’ve seen in recent years. Once people change numbers, they post their new number on Facebook, and ask their friends to change the number and message them. Be smart about it. And do not do it. This is a marketer’s dream come true. It is all right to write that you’ve changed your number, but ask your friends to PM you on Facebook, and share your new number in a private message with them.
Do not sync your social media accounts
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, and many more of your social media accounts can be synced. This way, everything you post to one social network, will spread to all networks. It sounds great in theory, but it is awful in real life. What you need to understand is that every social network is different. What works on Facebook, doesn’t work on Twitter. Or on Instagram for that matter. There are services that will help you sync your accounts, but we recommend you stay off that.
Links in emails
Criminals love clickable links in emails. They absolutely love them. Yes, they are a good idea in theory. But sometimes, theory and real life do not work in the same way. Clicking on a link in your email might take you to a website with malicious software. The website might look familiar, but there is hidden malicious software that might steal your password. Just clicking will let people know that you check spam and fall for it. And also, stop clicking on links on Facebook. Those like and share links you see are just scam.
Social media settings
The good news is social media networks provide users with a great amount of control over their profile and information they share. The bad news is that you have to dig deep into the settings in order to find those settings. In default mode, your social media profile is completely open. That being said, the best way to make sure you are secure is to go through privacy settings just before creating your profile. And if you already have a profile, if you haven’t done it already, set up your privacy and security settings.
And whenever you are sharing something on social media networks, check for a second if you are sharing only with friends, or with the public.