Simple Steps To Help You Stay Safe Online

With the average person spending several hours a day browsing around online, it’s never been more important to learn about online safety. There are many different risks and dangers that lurk around every corner on the web, and the responsibility is on you to ensure that you, your device and your personal data are not affected by any of the problems that are out to get you online. Fortunately, learning how to stay safe while using a laptop or smartphone doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might expect, as there are in fact just a few simple steps that you can follow to reduce the risks involved with the web. So, if you’re interested in finding out more about how you can use your laptop or smartphone in the most secure manner possible, then read on to uncover some of the most innovative ideas that you can utilize now! 

stay safe online

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Use Strong Passwords

First and foremost, one of the most important steps that you must follow to protect yourself and your data online is to use the strongest possible passwords. Passwords are all that stand between a web-based criminal and your personal information, as someone could easily hack into your accounts and utilize your data for malicious activities. Even online banking applications are protected by nothing more than a password, so you need to make sure that the passwords you choose are complex enough to ensure no one else can gain access. This means using a variety of different uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters that are not particularly memorable and do not form a word or pattern, as this will help you to keep your password as secure and unhackable as possible. Never make the mistake of using your birth date, name, or any other glaringly obvious words or numbers inside any of your passwords, as these will be the first options that a criminal will try out in an attempt to access your accounts. Be sure to use different passwords for different websites and applications too, as this will make it even more secure. 

Use Firewalls, Virus Scanning & Encryption

Every laptop or computer provides you with the opportunity to add your own security features to better protect your information and systems, including firewalls, virus scanning and even data encryption to keep your stuff away from prying eyes. Failing to cash in on the opportunity to use these features is such a big mistake to make, as you can upgrade your security like never before thanks to the addition of extra programs and system changes. For example, making the decision to download and install a super strong firewall is an ideal option, as this will act as a barrier that stands between your devices and the world wide web. Firewalls identify and remove risks and dangers, helping you to browse with confidence knowing that nothing can ‘follow you home’ and gain access to your files and more. Viruses are unfortunately fairly common on the web, with mistakes such as opening unknown email attachments, clicking unsafe links and visiting dangerous websites increasing your chances of falling victim to such a danger. Thankfully, using a virus detection program will scour your device high and low searching for signs of a virus, destroying it and severing all of its connections as soon as one is identified. Viruses can be controlled by humans but some exist freely on the web without the need for interaction, so you must always remain vigilant to ensure you don’t accidentally invite one in! Finally, using encryption services like those described here https://setapp.com/how-to/filevault-disk-encryption-mac will further boost your security, as all of your personal and private data will be encrypted (scrambled around) so that it appears completely unintelligible. Using a mixture of firewalls, virus scanning and encryption is sure to keep you safe when browsing the web, so these are 3 options that you should definitely bear in mind while online. 

Hold Back On Social Media

Many people find it far too tempting to hold back from posting every tiny life update on social media, whether this means snapping a photo of their breakfast or tagging themselves in at a specific location. However, oversharing on social media is one of the worst mistakes that you can make when you’re trying to stay safe online, as you never know who might access your data and what they might plan on doing with it! No one should be able to find out your personal information through your social media, so you must make sure that you do not have your mobile phone number, home address, education or job listed on your profile. This can put you in serious danger, as someone could easily steal your information and pretend to be you, or even visit your address since they will know exactly where you live. Holding back on social media so that you only posts things that aren’t associated with your personal life is absolutely key, as people simply do not need to see something such as a picture of your living room unless they’re planning on coming to steal from you (in which case, they’d already know your home layout and what you have to steal). Social media platforms are a cesspit for criminal activity, so the safest option would be to simply delete your accounts for the foreseeable future. This might not be feasible, especially if you rely on social media for communication, so reducing your use can work for now. Cap your social media surfing to 1 hour maximum per day to reduce your risks online.

Learning how to stay as safe and secure as possible when browsing online has never been such a simple task when you can take the time to utilize some of the brilliant ideas that have been carefully detailed above. There’s no time like the present to pull the rug from beneath the feet of web-based criminals who are looking to steal your private information, so what are you waiting for?

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