The Internet is like a double edge sword. In one side it is the best thing to happen to human civilization. The internet powers everything we do, and it does it with a speed that no human could match. We are connected to the internet almost all the times, not just our smartphones or computers; our appliances are not connected to the internet to enable us to do things we never imagined we could do. For example, you can now see real-time who is ringing your front door or you can turn on our home heater while leaving from the office. With all this thing connected to the internet, the internet also becomes a very dangerous place. Recent news sounding the internet has been very disturbing. Few people with skill and ill intention can access your online accounts to steal your online stored data, control your devices and manipulate what you do online.
But the good news is you can avoid most of these things by just following a few essential tips to make the internet safer.
#1- Create Strong Password
I know you have heard these tips thousands of times but believe me, having a strong password is the safest way to keep yourself safe from any online intruder. Having a strong password and hard to guess password is not enough. You also need to have a unique password for each account. This way if someone gets your password for one account cannot affect other online accounts.
I realize how hard it is to remember hundreds of complex passwords so to save yourself from the pain you should consider investing in a good password manager. Many password manager also comes with a feature to generate a complex password for the online account and save them securely, and you don’t need to remember the password at all.
#2- Use 2-Factor Authentication Where Ever Possible
What is 2-factor authentication? This is an initiative taken by many major platforms like Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Dropbox, and many other platforms. With this, you get additional security major onto your account. Having a password won’t be enough to access accounts with 2-factor authentication. Generally, when you log in with your username and password, you get a security code sent to your registered phone which you need to insert in order to access the account. That means if somehow someone gets access to your password can still struggle to access your account. So, I would say it is a no brainer to enable 2-factor authentication on every account that is giving this feature.
#3- Beware of What You are Clicking
Some report suggests that almost 90% of online hacking happens through phishing and reverse engineering. They send you tempting emails disguise as the official site and make you reveal your personal information. Some site also downloads malicious files onto your computer without your permission and steal your private data and sometimes access your webcam to see what you are doing live. Always be aware of what you are clicking. Click only to those links that you are fully satisfied that they are from the genuine sender. Offers that seems too good to be true then chances are they are too good to be true. Just avoid such emails. Similarly, download files from sites that you trust. Anything from and shady website can cost you a lot.
#4- Secure Your Network, Use Firewall
The chances are that your home Wi-Fi is password protected and encrypted but what about that public Wi-Fi. Public Wi-Fi is very tempting but they are also open and anyone with slight knowledge in networking and hack into the network and can monitor your online behavior. I would suggest you invest in a good VPN. VPS’w will encrypt your communication with the network and anyone trying to access your device will have to face the barrier put on by the VPN.
Firewall is like a digital wall that prevents unauthorized personnel from the internet from accessing your device. Firewall installed at router level can also guard your IoT based devices.
#5- Install Latest Updates
The final tip I can give on this topic is to keep your apps and software updated. Many software developers push regular updates and patch security holes that happens from time to time. If you are serious about your online safety, then it is a must to update all apps and software regularly. If you don’t want to deal with the updates, then you can turn on auto updates, so the app/software can do that itself without bothering you.
Your little vigilant can save you and your online data from being leaked to an unknown person who can harm you in many ways. ALways follow all the five tips that I mentioned above to keep yourself safe from those who have ill intentions.