The Internet is great for businesses, for socializing with friends and for accessing helpful content. One click and you can get thousands of results on anything you want. But as convenient as today’s digital life is, it attracts the attention of fraudsters.
Whether you use an iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy S10, laptops or Mac computers, no one is totally safe from malware and online crooks. Fortunately, there are many ways to increase your protection while using the Internet. Below are six of the best methods.
Lock your Apps and Accounts with Passwords
Hackers can easily access your computers and smartphones remotely. If all your online accounts and devices don’t have passwords, they will easily get hold of your data and do whatever they wish with it. Set passwords for your mobile devices and computers. Set strong passwords for apps, emails, and other accounts.
Password managers also come in handy for password management. Instead of using the same passwords for all accounts, let a password manager set unique passwords for each account and memorize them for you.
Even if hackers never get access to your laptop and smartphones, strong passwords can prevent your friends and relatives from accessing information you don’t want them to.
Install an Antivirus
Antivirus programs do more than scan viruses on flash drives. They also block malware, effectively preventing malicious code from spying on you and leaking your data. Without an antivirus, malicious software could penetrate your devices in numerous ways.
Phishing is a hacker’s favorite way of compromising unsuspecting users. It involves sending targeted computer owners emails, Facebook Messenger texts or Skype messages with hidden malicious code. When you download content attached to these messages, malware is installed onto your device.
Sometimes unauthorized users trick you to click links that take you to their sites. You could also be targeted as you download freeware on P2P file sharing sites. Take action by installing a good antivirus like https://www.thetop10sites.com/antivirus/pc-matic/. It can protect you against most types of online threats both online and offline.
Find a VPN
A good antivirus stops malicious software from penetrating your computer and smartphones. A VPN encrypts your data so that it safe while you use the Internet. From simple things like your name and addresses to your banking details, a VPN creates a shield that hides your data from everyone else.
Unlike in the past, VPNs are pretty affordable these days. Some are also free and could offer the basic connection you need albeit temporarily. The best VPNs cost as little as $2 per month and can secure up to three of your devices.
VPNs also offer other benefits besides securing your data. Because they operate by substituting your IP address with a foreign one, they make it possible to access geo-restricted content. So, if you’ve ever wanted to access USA Netflix channels, simply get a good VPN.
Mind the Websites you Visit
An antivirus can only go too far in protecting your data. You must also play a part by avoiding unsafe websites and apps. Google Chrome users have a helping hand from the browser as it alerts you when you’re about to visit an unsafe site.
But just in case you don’t use Chrome, observe caution by avoiding sites that don’t have SSL encryption. Also known as HTTPS, SSL encrypted sites encrypt your data before transmitting it over the Internet. This way, your data can’t be leaked by shopping sites, blogs or any sites your visit online.
Take an extra step when shopping and adopt virtual credit cards. Instead of providing your real credit card information, virtual cards give you one-time credit card numbers that hide your real information but help you complete payments, nonetheless.
Update Operating Systems and Software
Obsolete software and operating systems are easier to manipulate by hackers. Malware is also more likely to penetrate older operating systems than newer operating systems. Always update your software when asked to.
Even if the updates seem to be too frequent, they’re important. Of course, some software programs are more sensitive than others. Computer operating systems and antivirus solutions are two of the most important security tools you should constantly update.
Social media apps, browsers, email apps and other programs that handle your data regularly should also be updated as frequently as possible. Cybercriminals are always exploring new ways to compromise apps and computer programs, which is one reason why they’re updated frequently. Avoid being victimized for using software that is obsolete.
Review your Privacy Settings
If you’re unsure of what information you’ve allowed apps and programs to access on your devices, review your settings. Most people unknowingly allow apps to access a lot of their information. Don’t give out your personal email address to all apps.
If you don’t plan on purchasing anything from a website, don’t share your credit card information with them. Review permission related to accessing your photos, videos, documents and everything else that’s personal to you. Only share your data with safe apps that absolutely need it.
Install Anti-Theft Apps
Anti-theft technology helps protect your data when you lose your smartphone and computers. They could encrypt your devices if you didn’t have passwords set. Some erase data on your devices completely while others also send you locations of where your device is presently located.
Both Google and Apple have measures meant to protect your data during eventualities. Apple’s devices are more secure and are difficult to hack when lost. That doesn’t mean they can’t be compromised. Google lets you find your device, lock it or erase data completely.
Also, consider backing up your data. Anti-theft apps don’t always work. Viruses can also damage your files completely. Having backups for ensures you can always get your data back when the worst happens.
While it’s convenient and beneficial in many ways, the Internet can also be used by cybercriminals to steal your data. Sometimes it’s the people closest to you that hold ill intentions. Protect your devices by getting an antimalware program. Set strong passwords for your online accounts and back up your data for easy retrieval should you ever lose it.