Safe Internet Browsing Practices for Defending Off Hackers
If you are wondering how to safely surf the web for both personal and professional use, it is important to follow safe internet browsing practices. Without the proper safeguards, you open yourself up to identity theft, data theft and even computer damage. In the case of identity theft, hackers steal information such as your credit card number, bank accounts, social security number and more. Hackers can then use this information for all sorts of damaging purposes, including making fraudulent purchases, taking out new credit cards, and even applying for government benefits. Data theft involves the theft of files from your computer such as photographs, videos, and documents. This information can be sold for illicit purposes. Some hackers aim only to cause damage and send viruses to your computer that can make your computer inoperable. All of these instances can cost you money, time, and emotional stress as you try to sort out the problems. Anyone can be a victim of security threats, from the most casual internet user to experienced users. Even large corporations with sophisticated security systems are not immune to data breaches, such as the recent breach that affected all 3 billion Yahoo accounts. You can better protect yourself by using some of METHODIC‘s safe browsing guidelines. Read on to discover our top internet browsing safety tips that can help you keep your computer and information secure.
We are all guilty of creating simple, easy to remember passwords that we use for all sites that require a login. However, one of the first steps to protecting your information is using unique and secure passwords for the sites you use. Even if a site claims that it is secure, it is important that you use a password that will be difficult for hackers to discover. You have probably heard differing advice on how to choose a secure password. One of the most popular tips is to put elements such as numerals, special characters, and irregular capitalization into a password to make it more difficult for hackers. The problem is, that people tend to use the same special elements, making the supposedly complex passwords easy for hackers to predict. People have also been encouraged to change their passwords every few months for added security, but this is also a problem. People usually just make a predictable change to their already predictable password. Some might think that a random assortment of letters and numbers is a good strategy, and while these passwords are generally secure, they are more difficult to remember and not as secure as a series of random words divided by spaces or other characters. These types of passwords are the most secure and easy to remember as well. So, a password like “monkey sugar drum” is more difficult for hackers to crack than 25hAmLet$.
#2: How to Make Sure Your Internet Connection is Secure
It is of vital importance that your internet connection is secure. This connection is a way into your computer for hackers. Your internet connection can be a gateway leading hackers to view files on your computer, discover your passwords, and commit identity theft. Hackers can also use your internet connection for their own purposes, which can inadvertently get you into trouble. It is important to take measures to make sure your internet connection is not accessible to anyone outside your home or business. If you connect to the internet using a modem or router, the first thing you should do is change the password from the one that comes with the device. Use the above tips to help you choose a secure password. Another important step is to make sure that remote management is disabled. This feature allows you to make changes to your device through an internet connection, but it also makes your device vulnerable to hackers. This feature is usually disabled by default, but it is a good idea to check just to be sure, as this device can allow hackers access to your connection. If you use a WiFi network to connect to the internet, unwanted users can access your connection wirelessly, just by being near your network. To ensure that your WiFi connection is safe, you should use a WPA or WPA2 connection. You should also set password restrictions for access to your network and (in the case of a business) have a designated network for guests if you wish to allow outsiders access.
#3: Tips for Updating Your Firmware
Firmware is the software that makes your computer work. Manufacturers will often release updates to firmware as they discover ways to make it more functional and more secure. If there is a firmware update for your device, you should update it as soon as it is released so that your device has the best possible security. Firmware updates can sometimes be intimidating as you may worry that you may perform the update incorrectly and can mess with the functioning of your device. However, if you follow the next steps, your updates should work smoothly. You will first need to know the model of your device and the firmware version it uses. You can find this information in various places: on the package, on a sticker on the device itself, or in the devices menu or settings. Next, you need to see if there is a newer version of the firmware than the one you currently have. You can usually find out about new firmware on the device’s support website. Once you have downloaded the update, carefully read the instructions for installation. Most downloads will come packaged with a readme file with this information. Next, back up your device’s current firmware. Users often overlook this step, but it is critical. If something goes wrong with your update, you will have the previous firmware to fall back on. Finally, follow the steps given in the instructions to update your firmware.
#4: How and Why to Delete Unknown Emails
Most internet users have an email account with emails from unknown senders. Hackers often use email as a way to get to your personal information. This process is known as phishing. Hackers will send an email using an address that seems reputable and will warn you that there is something wrong with an account, such as your bank account. The email will urge you to follow a link and verify your information. This tactic is a way for hackers to get your information for their own purposes. They will often go to great measures to make their emails seem real, such as finding out where you bank, where you work, or where you went to college. These sorts of claims made in an email are unreliable though, as a legitimate company would never address those sorts of issues in an email. Although many internet users still fall prey to phishing scams, there are some easy measures you can take to avoid them. As internet users get wiser to scams, hackers are having to come up new techniques. By staying informed, you can stay a step ahead and know what to look out for in your email. Always use caution and common sense before you click on a link in your email. Verify that you know where the email came from and that it is leading you to a legitimate site by reading your email in plain-text, which will show where the link leads. If you receive an email from someone you do not know, it is safest to delete it.
#5: How to Avoid Unsecured Websites
HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is a way for servers and browsers to communicate with one another. When browsing the internet, the address bar will display either http or https. Sites that are secure will begin with an “https” instead of a basic “http.” The s stands for secure. It translates information into a language that is impossible for hackers to read. Sites that use https basically render any information useless if stolen by a hacker. Just because a site does not use https does not mean that it is unsafe, but the site cannot guarantee the safety of any information you submit. If you are just browsing for information, an http is okay. If you are purchasing something or filling out any personal information, the site address should begin with https. Legitimate corporations will always have a secure address in order to protect your information. Be very careful about giving out personal information on sites that only have http. These sites are not secure and are vulnerable to hackers. Also, be cautious of popup ads. These ads are often make to look like part of a website and are used to lure you into a scam. A site with https encryption should not have any fraudulent popups.
#6: How to Improve Your Browser Privacy Settings
Most of us don’t give much thought to the privacy of what we search on the internet, but it is important to use safe web search practices anytime you are browsing the internet. If you have not taken measures to set your browser to private, then what you search on the internet can be accessed by others, including hackers and investigators. Search engines will often store your searches with your IP address, which can be valuable information to scam artists. If you are serious about keeping your searches private, you may want to consider using a proxy server. However, there are some easy safe web browsing habits you can employ to make sure your searches are private. First, it is important to delete your browser history. Browsers keep a record of sites you have searched and in some cases this information can be accessed by hackers. You can set any browser to regularly delete history, but you may also want to delete it manually after a browsing session that you do not want discovered. You can also set your browser to private browsing, which keeps no record of your search history or passwords. All browsers allow this setting, but be aware that this feature only keeps information from being saved on your computer. Anything you do on a website can be accessed by the government, your employer, your ISP, and the website owner.
#7: Install an Up-to-Date Internet Security Suite
Twenty years ago, simple antivirus software was enough to keep your computer safe from viruses. But as technology has progressed, hackers have gotten more sophisticated in their methods and there is now a myriad of attacks they can use to get your personal information and harm your computer. Browser security software is no longer enough; for complete protection, you now need an internet security suite. An internet security suite can offer you ample protection, including antivirus software, a firewall to protect you from attacks, features that keep you from getting spam emails, identity protection for sites that require your private information, password generation features, and safe browsing functions for children using the internet. Avast Internet Security provides an internet security suite that can protect your computer from malware attacks and protect your personal information for complete internet surfing security. Their security suite can protect your files and data, help you avoid fraudulent websites, and detect spam emails. Their suite can also find weaknesses in your network and allow you to test out suspicious files before downloading them to your computer – something every business needs for safe internet browsing at work. Their system stays up-to-date on the latest malware to make sure your computer is protected. If something suspicious appears on your computer, Avast even has features to prevent and cure the issue with other users.
Decrease Your Chances by Informing Others
Help encourage the responsible use of the web by sharing and using these safe internet browsing tips. You will be helping to protect yours and your loved one’s personal information, networks, and computers from outside threats. It comes at no surprise that helping your social connections stay secure helps improve your own online security as well. That’s because any social media friend that gets hacked can cause your own accounts to become a direct and vulnerable target for hacking too. As hackers and scam artists grow more sophisticated in their methods, securing your computer, your browser, and your network are more important than ever before. Internet users must stay vigilant to ensure they are not under attack and must take multiple safeguard to protect themselves. Hackers can attack your computer and information from several angles. They can go through your browser, the network, or even the computer itself.
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Taking just one or two measures is not enough.That is why these safe web browsing tips are critical to follow if you want to maintain safe internet surfing online. Always create secure passwords that are difficult for hackers to discover. Practice secure web search exercises such as making sure websites are using a secure https address and searching the internet using the most secure internet browser. Take extra measures to be safe if you are using a public computer, such as those found at a library or internet cafe. Be careful of giving out personal information on the web. Hackers can easily replicate a site to make it look like your personal banking site. Never put personal information or password into a site unless you are sure it is legitimate. Do not open email from unknown senders and never click a link in an email unless you are positive you know the sender. Remember that a trustworthy corporation like a bank will never send you an email asking for your personal information. Update your firmware as soon as new versions are released. And finally, to cover all of these safe internet browsing practices, purchase an internet security suite like Avast Internet Security. An internet security suite helps you to take all of these measures using one easy program to keep your computer, network, and personal information safe and secure from attack.