The internet is an essential tool in every home nowadays. The innovation of products such as the cloud and social media is creating a world that is increasingly digital. Because of this digital shift, it’s important that everyone understands basic internet safety.
Both businesses and customers alike need the internet for basic everyday tasks. This article will provide an overview of the risks of being online and teach you how to practice basic internet safety.
What are the risks of using the internet?
In order to understand basic internet safety practices, you must first understand the risks associated with internet usage.
Because the internet is used for so many day-to-day tasks, there is a massive amount of data stored and transmitted online. When you log in to a secure website or buy a product online, your data is shared between your device and the server.
This data can be sensitive and private, but also valuable.
Because of the value of this data, both companies and hackers alike often seek access to it. Privacy is always valuable, and the best way for you to ensure data privacy is to practice basic internet safety.
Think before you click.
The most important skills for basic internet safety are critical thinking and common sense. Many of the rules that apply in the real world also apply online.
One such rule is being aware of stranger danger. You likely know that you shouldn’t share private documents with a complete stranger off the streets. However, the same rule applies to using the internet.
Never share your password details with anyone. Be careful about what you post on social media. Everything that you post online has value, and once it’’s posted it can never truly be removed from the internet.
Another great basic rule of thumb is to avoid untrustworthy locations.
In real life, you likely avoid dark alleyways at night, and in the same way, you should avoid untrustworthy websites. While the internet offers convenience for consumers and sellers, it also provides an easy way for cybercriminals to hide in plain sight. Untrustworthy websites can steal your information, or infect your device with a virus. Oftentimes, by the time you realize this has occurred, it is too late to correct it.
Because of the quick nature of cybercrime, it is crucial to practice pre-emptive internet safety.
This means evaluating websites before clicking on them. A good general rule is that most often sites ending with .org or .gov are trustworthy and safe to use. However, outside of that it mostly boils down to your ability to practice common sense. If you think a site might be unsafe, then it probably is. Using common sense and critical thinking is a great way to practice basic internet safety.
Keep your software updated.
One of the easiest ways to protect your device is to frequently check and update your software.
Tech companies understand the importance of basic internet safety, and they take steps to ensure devices with their software are protected. These steps usually take shape through updates to the device’s software.
By routinely checking your device for software updates you can ensure that your data protection is always up to date.
Utilize antivirus software.
Another way in which you can proactively protect your sensitive data is to make use of antivirus software.
Antivirus programs are some of the most effective options for practicing basic internet safety. Technology is constantly evolving, and like their namesake, computer viruses are no different. In response to these viruses, cyber security companies create antivirus programs. Similar to basic software, these antivirus programs update frequently to counter computer viruses.
Installing a strong antivirus program can make a huge difference in protecting your data. Antivirus programs may not guarantee 100% online safety, but they do provide a great defense against cyber security threats.
Take advantage of password-protection programs.
We’ve covered discussed the importance of protecting your password and login information. Not sharing your login details is vital, but it still does not fully ensure that your information is protected.
In order to maintain the privacy of your password information, you should also utilize the regulations and programs that are in place.
Often, secure websites will have restrictions and guidelines on what your password must contain. These rules are in place for your safety to ensure that your password is not too easy to guess.
Also, the creation of two-factor authentication systems has helped with ensuring the protection of passwords. These systems require the use of a second personal device to log in to a secure website. This ensures that cybercriminals can’t use your login even if they discover your password.
With any luck, this article has provided some insight into the importance of practicing basic internet safety.
By using common sense and taking advantage of new cyber security tools you can help to ensure that your information stays private. Whether you are using the internet for your business or personal use, basic internet safety is absolutely vital in the modern world.