Your safety should be your utmost priority at all times, even when you’re just spending your leisure time browsing on the internet. Once you’re online, your data, personal information, and security are at risk, and you can be involved in cybercrimes and other online violations.
To protect yourself, you have to stay safe and secure whenever you’re using the internet. Here are some safety practices you have to adapt when you’re online:
1. Use a virtual private network (VPN)
One effective way of securing your network is to make use of an Australian VPN. A VPN creates a protected and encrypted connection from a public network, which is usually less secure. It uses certain security features and tunneling protocols. It facilitates encryption and decryption of data to provide more privacy. Data that are not properly encrypted, usually those that directly come from the public network, will not be allowed to penetrate the tunnel. Also, not only are the data encrypted and decrypted, but also the network addresses.
VPN can protect you from hackers or online activities that try to steal your computer’s data and other information that they can use against you. It’s like tricking them that you’re browsing from a different network, but you are, in fact, accessing it from a different location.
2. Use strong passwords
Your password is the first line of defense whenever you use your account online. It allows you to access information and sensitive data on your account. It’s imperative not to share your passwords to anyone.
Also, you have to make sure that you nominate strong passwords in every account you use to login online. Don’t use basic information such as your name or birthday to create your password. A strong password should include both small and capital letters, numbers, and special characters.
Changing your passwords regularly also increases your safety online. Individuals with bad intentions stealing your information and identity will have a difficult time accessing your account if you have a strong password.
3. Take preventive measures
Practicing simple online habits can protect you from being a victim on the internet. Always be cautious with every click and website you visit. Be careful when accessing links, files, and sites as you can be at risk of malware or phishing. If you think you have encountered something sketchy online, don’t try to open links or attachments, especially if they are from unknown senders in your personal network.
If you’re interested in in-depth cybersecurity, you can take upskilled IT courses that are available online. It’s self-paced and designed as online modules so students can take it on their own time and pace. This is beneficial, especially if you’re dealing with high-value data and highly confidential information, so you need to beef up your online security.
4. Be careful when online shopping
Online retail websites are taking over the internet by storm and have been one of the most useful innovations in the digital world. People don’t need to go to shopping malls to purchase things. Instead, filling up their shopping cart is done by a few clicks away.
The risk involved in online shopping happens during checkout. Since most retail websites only accept credit cards as a mode of payment, your personal and credit card information are at risk of online theft and fraud.
Before going online shopping, make sure that the website is secure and encrypted. One way to check if the site is secure is by looking at its URL. Make sure it starts with “HTTPS” and not “HTTP”. Also, the presence of a padlock icon in the URL bar is also an indicator that the website is secure. Most browsers have a security feature and notify its users if the website they are trying to access is not secure and can prevent the page from loading.
5. Get security software
If you want an effortless way of staying safe online, it’s best to invest in getting security software and an antivirus installed in your computer. It has now extensive features that keep your computer from viruses and malware online and offline. It also has an extension for your browser to ensure safe browsing and block risky sites.
6. Think before you post
Cases of cyberbullying are getting rampant nowadays. Posting a personal opinion on social media can result in negative implications to other people, which can pose a threat to your security. Always practice of critically thinking first before posting anything, especially about sensitive issues in society.
Online security is essential to protect your data and personal information from getting stolen by other people. You have to take precautionary measures, including the use of strong passwords, security software, and a virtual private network. Most importantly, you have to have a smart attitude in terms of which sites to access and to what extent you can share and retrieve information online.