Online threats continue to grow for the regular Internet user every day and every year. And with that continued problem multiple individuals, groups, businesses and governments are regularly being caught vulnerable and become compromised. However, one of the best things a user can do is up the ante in terms of prevention. It’s far easier and definitely less costly to protection from online threats in the first place than to become a victim to it and be regularly caught in a painful process of damage control. And maximum online privacy and safety are very possible and doable with the right steps regularly taken before, during and after being online.
Folks aren’t going to stop using the Internet; it’s become too fundamental to daily life as a relied upon tool. So, since activity is going to happen, then prevention becomes the logical approach of defense. Here’s 9 steps everyone should be following to deter or prevent online threats from making you another victim as well as achieve a maximum privacy status.
1. Use a Full-defense Secure Traffic Channel for Your Internet Access
Best VPN for example gives users real-time, traffic oriented protection both in terms of privacy as well as interception or unauthorized monitoring. A good defense system is essential for any activity in the Internet in addition to what your operating system might provide as a default. This helps stop some of the most common threats like malware, viruses, trojans, keyloggers and a lot more. And that creates the first wall to protect both your financial information as well as your privacy and secure access to your Internet resources.
2. Don’t Ever Use a Weak Password
The typical easy way a hacker gets into one’s Internet accounts is through the password. And, unfortunately, most people use passwords of regular words versus anything complicated. While these are easy to remember, they are also easy for a computer program to figure out. Many programs can crack a regular word password in a matter of seconds. Computer computations work that fast. So, a strong password is a necessity. The best working model of a strong password is at least 15 digits in length, uses upper and lower cap letters, combines in numbers, and uses some kind of a special character at least once if not more (example: &#^@%!?). Also, don’t leave your password anywhere written down. If you have to save it in a file, use encryption to protect that file from easy opening as well.
3. Don’t Use the Same Password for Every Site
Another big problem that people commit all the time is the use of the same password on multiple online sites as well as their home computer. Once one account is hacked, the online threat actor simply keeps trying the same password on other accounts. A common strategy is to hack the email account first. Then, based on the emails in it, the actor starts attacking any other sensitive sites like bank accounts and credit card accounts. With the mistake of the same password, a person’s entire life can fall apart online in a matter of one night.
4. Keep your Computer Software Updated
All social media accounts provide the ability to set them to private status so that only and your friends have access. Hackers frequently use public, open accounts to gather information on targets and then use that information to find weaknesses or opportunities. Many times they use that information to guess passwords, knowing folks use family and pet names for password ideas. It also gives other folks with bad ideas personal information about a user. So, don’t give them anything to work with in the first place. Block all public access to your social media accounts so nothing appears unless you approved that person access.
5. Strengthen Your Network at Home
If you’re connecting to the Internet at home, you’re using the personal version of a network. And if you do nothing about that access, it’s essentially an open channel to the Internet until the traffic reaches your physical computer. You can block this aspect by using a virtual private network (VPN) tool. A VPN can be created by software or by using a specific Internet access. For example, Best VPN allows an easy-to-use VPN online approach that both protects your privacy and doesn’t slow your traffic, especially with high data demand files like video-streaming. Don’t ever use a public network with your private information or personal computer, such as a café or hotel public Wi-Fi. Free is never free; there is always a cost that you have to pay eventually for it.
6. Make Sure Your Family Understands Internet Safety
Your home computer is only as good as the person who is using it. So, if you share your computer or home network with family members, then each one of them can potentially create a vulnerability. By training your family what to watch out for and what to avoid, you are shoring up the mistakes they could make out of ignorance with your computer or network.
7. Pay Attention to Security Breach News
No one expects the average user to know every technical bulletin on hacks and IT breaches, but it’s good practice to find a reliable news source and pay attention to where attacks happen. The Target breach on their third party payment processor was a classic example that affected millions of people and their bank accounts via debit cards and credit cards. Just a bit of awareness can go a long way towards avoiding risks that affect large groups of people.
8. Use a Credit Card for Online Buying
A big mistake many folks use is to rely on their debit cards online. This is a direct channel to their personal bank account once the card number is identified. And that happens often when vendors’ databases are hacked. Instead, use a credit card. In most cases, if the card is compromised, the exposure of the user at max is limited to $50 of value. No such limit or incorrect charge protection happens with a bank account, and losses to a bank could be the maximum allowed on a debit card per day.
9. Don’t Leave Your Computer Unlocked
Even when among friends or familiar settings, an unlocked computer makes it easy to inject a problem when you’re not looking. Apple and Windows both have settings that allow you to lock your computer automatically after just a few minutes. Use it. If you know how to change advanced settings, then go further and prevent remote connections and logins without your permission as well. Both of these steps help prevent network remote attacks when you’re not paying attention.
10. You Have Tremendous Power in Your Hands
Prevention is one of the strongest defenses available to a user when strategizing against online threats. And your own behavior can put up plenty of resistance that makes you a much harder target to compromise. Hackers don’t want to bother with difficult cases when there are so many easy, passive targets available. Make your computer and Internet use tighter and you wipe out a large majority of online threat risks before they have a chance to get a foothold on you.