You need to stay secure online. As of now, Almost 4.57 billion people across the world have access to the internet. That is approximately 59% of the world’s population. Quite a huge number right? You would be quite surprised to know that there are more than 300,000 known hackers in the world.
According to a survey, Hackers attack every 39 seconds, that is 2,244 times a day. And what are the chances that you might be the victim in the next 39 seconds ? Maybe more than 50%. So we are going to help you to stay safe and secure on the Internet. Now we can’t guarantee you complete security on the internet, no one can.
Hackers are becoming powerful day by day, and so are our computers. So, all that you can do is to make sure that you are following basic security protocols to keep yourself secure. Here are the basic and important tips for staying safe online.
Do not open Emails from Unknown Senders to stay secure
This is one of the most common methods of attacking used by Hackers. This particular method is called phishing. They send you a spammy email that somewhat looks like an information email from a company. Soon, they ask you to log-in to a website or make a small payment via the link given in the email. Now, these phishing websites are a complete clone of the original website, it is hard to find the difference between the original website and the cloned one. As soon as you enter some information into the cloned website, the data inputted is immediately sent to the person who created it.
Sometimes clicking on such links, downloads and installs some fishy software without letting the user know. Such softwares tracks and publishes all the private information from your PC without letting you know. So make sure that you don’t click on any fishy links. Most of the time Gmail or your email provider will filter spam emails, but sometimes they may sneak these filters and make their way to your inbox. So be careful while clicking on such emails.
Use Strong Passwords to stay secure
This is one of the best steps that you can use to ensure maximum security online. Using the same password across all the websites online reduces your security and makes your online identity vulnerable. The best way to keep yourself safe in such situations is to use a different password for each website. This may sound a bit of hassle and hard work for you, but it just takes your security to a different level. Imagine using the same passwords for all websites, bigger websites will ensure maximum security, making password leaks impossible.
But there are some websites that are not much secure, once someone hacks into the database of such smaller websites and gets your password, it will be easy for them to get into all the larger websites. The best way to generate stronger passwords is to use a password that contains a mixture of special symbols, numbers , Uppercase and lowercase alphabets. Nowadays some websites have taken this responsibility upon them and they generate strong passwords for you while you are creating an account on their website. Just keep a record of all your passwords in a book, so that you don’t have to worry about misplacing them.
Use Two-Factor Authentication to stay secure
Well, you might have heard the word “Two Factor Authentication” if you are a regular Instagram, Gmail or Facebook User. When you enable Two-Factor Authentication, the website asks you to enter an one-time-password (OTP) whenever you login. So, even if a person has your password to log-in to the website, he will be needing an OTP that is generated with a different series each and every time.
This also helps you know if someone has your password or not. These OTPs are either sent to your registered mobile number or the registered email address. Some websites also offer you a choice of a preferred security question. These security questions are not that effective, as they all are basic questions like : The name of your primary school or the name of your pet dog etc. A person or a friend who is close to you or someone who knows about you can easily guess this, So, your choice must always be an OTP.
Do not Use Public WiFi
Try to avoid public wifi as much as possible. Even if you are in a situation where you need to access the Internet for a very important work, try to avoid public wifi. But if you have no choice left for the work that is so important, try using a public wifi with the least users. Public networks are vulnerable and are easy to crack. They are not completely encrypted when compared to a regular private network. You must never make payments or login to websites when using a public wifi. Hackers can sniff and monitor your usage and get access to your private files.
Use a Secure Browser
You must be thinking that all the browsers out there are secure right? No they are not. All browsers are vulnerable to Internet attacks, including the most popular Google Chrome. These browsers do have a security loophole that allows hackers and crackers to attack the vulnerable parts of the browsers.
Most browsers store your cookies for a better experience and a faster usage, but these cookies also store your login credentials so that you can login quickly into the websites that you access. Hackers are attracted to such cookies, they are easy to target and have a lot of information stored within them.
Once they get the cookies they can use all the saved information from your browsers, such as login credentials , autofill forms etc. We suggest you to use Tor browser , with a secure VPN, which is based on firefox, this browser protects your privacy on the internet and keeps your identity safe.
Whenever you are shopping on the Internet make sure that the website you are shopping on is a verified and authority website. While entering your card details on the payment gateway page, make sure that you see a green lock icon on the top left part of the browser. This green icon ensures that the line is completely secure and your card credentials are safe. No one except you and the payment gateway shall know the information of this gateway.
Payment gateways are usually provided by major banks. Do not shop from a newly established site, verify that the site is legit and has some loyal customers.
Do not use Password Managers to stay secure
You should always keep a record of your passwords in a normal notebook or a sheet. Using password managers is not secure. A password manager keeps a record of all passwords of various sites that you wish to store. But imagine if someone gets access to your password manager, he will have access to all the credentials that you stored in the manager. A simple way to store your passwords is to have a sticky note near your keyboard, this will help you to reach the passwords whenever you need.
Keep your Antivirus Up to Date to stay secure
There’s no rocket science behind it. Everyone knows that an antivirus keeps you safe from malware and phishing attacks on the Internet. Having a secure antivirus will keep your system secure from latest attacks and malwares that are being uploaded consistently on the Internet. Whenever you download an attachment from your mail or the Internet, you should first scan it for any malwares before opening them. This reduces the chances of being attacked.
If you followed all the above steps you have already ensured maximum security for your identity and your system online.But, even if you find yourself in a situation where you followed all the tips and still found yourself to be a victim of such an attack, you should immediately call or get in touch with an IT professional who understands the seriousness of the problem and can guide you perfectly without any hassle.
Make sure that you share this knowledge with all the people that you know, whom you want to be safe too. Sharing such informational knowledge with the people you care might be beneficial for you and your loved ones.