Staying safe can never be overemphasised. There is one thing you cannot take away from the world as we know it – the Internet. As long as you can read this post, it means the internet is still very much valid and available. Yes, the internet has evolved and it keeps evolving very fast.
With every evolution, there are new sides, new advantages and of course, new dangers. The world as we know it makes use of the internet more than anything. Almost everything can be done online – from making friends to getting married to buying clothes, phones and gadgets, to watching movies to virtual reality. The list keeps getting endless.
As much as the Internet keeps being part of our daily lives, we need to learn how to stay safe in the face of newer adaptations of this aspect of technology.
So how can you keep safe?
I’ve tried to compact this as much as I can, therefore, allow me to share with you five ways of staying safe online.
Keep your guard up
This is my number one rule of staying safe. This rule even applies in the outside world. You cannot afford to be careless about the websites you visit, what you click and share. Believe me when I tell you that there is a price to every free thing on the internet. You may not part with cash or crypto but I tell you, there is always something to give up. Therefore, be sure to beef up your security by running your device on the latest security software. Be careful when you submit sensitive info on sites that are not secure. And don’t underestimate backing up your data. Very important.
Beef Up Your Network Security
It is important to ensure that your network is secure. If you use public WiFi, even though it is password protected, try to invest in a VPN – Virtual Private Network. A VPN is a software that encrypts your network so that you can safely connect to the internet from anywhere. If you think you want to go the extra mile, ensure that you use a firewall.
Passwords must be unique, strong and complex
Gone are the days when using a password like 123456 is cool. You’ll feel like no one can guess the password? Wrong. It doesn’t have to be a person. Robots and special software can run algorithms that crack passwords within seconds! Using such passwords will even take milliseconds. Ensure your password is a unique one. Don’t use your date of birth or your spouse’s name or anything related to you. Make sure your passwords are a combination of alphanumeric characters, special characters and digits. And again, don’t use the same passwords for multiple accounts. That can be deadly.
Keep your Financial Information Safe
My advice for this is to be your own secret keeper. As much as it is okay to trust your spouse with information as critical as these, if they can’t follow the rules of living safely on the internet, don’t let them handle critical financial information. Keep your credit card information safe. Whenever you are shopping online, always make sure that the website is secure and has the lock icon on it. I need to repeat this again – don’t submit sensitive information on websites that are not secure.
Protect Your Mobile Device
Recently mobile devices face new risks than laptops and other devices. HostingFacts.com reported that there were 3.7 billion global mobile Internet users as of January 2018 which is in contrast to 4.1 billion Internet users in the world as of January 2019. What this means is much of the internet users prefer to access the internet via mobile devices. The target, therefore, shifts to mobile devices as it pertains to security and other threats. As a rule of thumb, be careful to download apps from untrusted sources. Don’t follow links sent as SMS unless you are absolutely certain about its source. Don’t share your mobile device with people who you cannot vouch for. Keep your mobile devices secure with PINs, passwords and other lock measures.
When you take preventive measures such as these, you can be certain that you keep yourself out of unwanted regrets in the future.
What other things do you think can be done to stay safe online? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.