Jul, 2018

Best Internet Safety Tips for Everyday Online Users

The recent years have witnessed a significant surge in the online transactions. Although this hype has benefited the merchants, it has also opened the door to cybercriminals who constantly look for vulnerable websites to make their intrusion attempts successful. Usually shopping online consumers face various types of risks beginning from fake websites to untrusted connections.

According to a report from the Federal Trade Commission, credit card fraud damages are costing Americans more than a billion dollars a year, and the figure is still on the rise. Here is a great example how people are targeted online by these cyber criminals.

Mr. Smith, an entrepreneur in Philadelphia, suddenly spotted some fraudulent activity in his bank account. Some amount of money has been withdrawn without his knowledge. He rushed to the bank to enquire about his banking details and came to know that someone has changed his registered address and attained a new debit card on that address. Mr. Smith realized that he had become a victim of online fraud, the hacker hacked his PC, his bank account and changed his entire contact details. He immediately registered a case of online fraud with the police.

This type of news can be heard often, so in order to be safe from online fraud, you must learn these best internet safety tips:

Shop from a trusted website

Cyber crooks plays a common trick of setting up a fake website, which resembles any popular website so that customers reveal their credit card information without any doubt. Therefore, it is important for you to verify the URL of the shopping site before entering your payment details. Although the look and feel of the fake website resemble the actual one, there will be a minute difference in the URL structure.

Avoid Public Wi-Fi while you shop online

Public Wi-Fi is generally insecure and hackers find it the most convenient platform to steal your credit card information. Hence, you should go for a trusted connection whenever you make any online transaction.

Intelligent browser settings to guard your privacy

Do you know, you can customize your browser to a great extent to prevent your PC being exposed to hackers? By adjusting your privacy settings, you can keep a check on these websites. You can also block or allow any particular sites or cookies as per your preference.

Activate User Account Control (UAC)

A User Account Control notifies you whenever there is a permission request for an administrative level changes to be done on your PC or laptop. By activating User Account Control (UAC), you can prevent viruses and hackers from making unwanted changes on your PC.

Say no to untrusted email attachments

Email attachments are one of the biggest sources of virus attack; so it is advisable that you do not click on suspicious emails. The best way to prevent your PC from becoming a victim is to judge the subject line or the sender’s email id before opening the attachment. You can also scan attachments with your antivirus program to minimize any kind of possible risk.

Basic firewall protection

A firewall is one of the most useful tools to remain protected from external threats. You can either go for a Windows firewall or any other firewall, which shall provide basic protection from worms or other forms of viruses.

Use smartphone lock

Your smartphone contains highly sensitive information about you such as net banking credentials, pictures, etc. It is, therefore, a good idea to set authentication for unlocking the phone. Use smartphone lock, either in the form of pattern or PIN, so that your information is safe whenever your phone is idle for a while.

Free apps come at a price

Most of us have several free apps related to gaming, shopping, etc. on our computer systems and mobile phones. These potentially unwanted apps (PUAs) are generally laced with adware and spyware that get automatically installed with free apps and pose a serious threat to your online privacy. It is important to remove such apps from your systems and prefer paid apps from reliable sources.

Be careful about backup

Having a backup of your data is nothing less than a blessing in case of system crash or disaster. But when you take backup of your data, your information gets stored at a remote location other than your system. So it is important to ensure that your files and folders are encrypted and password protected before you store them to another location.

Remember to Log out

With the ongoing trend of handy devices such as smartphones and tablets, it is now quite a common habit to stay logged-in to online accounts as it makes it easier to access accounts. However, it can lead to serious information leakage in case someone gets access to your device. It is better to give consideration to the fact that when to stay logged-in and when to log-out.

Believe in your instinct

There’s nothing better to believe that what you feel is right. Common sense and your natural instinct is what you should use when choosing the rights and wrongs of the internet. If something seems to be dangerous, then consider it is. Remember your online safety is your primary concern and that you should never put it at risk just for the sake of experimentation or trial.

Keep your PC safe with a reliable antivirus

One of the best internet safety tips towards online security is to install a reliable antivirus program. There are many antivirus software’s available in the market, so you need to choose the best product evaluating its features. Apart from installing an antivirus program, you also need to keep the product updated, so that it functions effectively. Switching to automatic update is the best option.

This post has been updated.

The Author

Abhijeet Guha

Abhijeet is an active blogger with decent experience in the IT Security industry. He researches on various topics related to cyber security and pens down his research in the form of articles & blogs. You can reach him at abhijeet@reveantivirus.com.
Abhijeet Guha
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