Staying safe online is not that difficult if you keep some basic points in mind, and even though many people will try to tell you that the internet is a scary place full of threats, the reality is quite different if you have some understanding of how things work. It’s important to know what the biggest security risks on the internet are, and how to avoid them. Follow the following 10 tips to stay safe online.
10 Tips to Stay Safe Online
1) Avoid Giving Away Your Real Name
You might not think much of it but giving your real name away without questioning who gets it is an easy way to compromise. This especially true in such parts of the world as the Philippines that have a more problematic scene in this regard. An attacker could potentially do a lot with just your name and a few other simple data points, so try not to make their job too easy for them at every step.
2) Know Where You’re Connecting from
Be careful with your connection, too. Always know where your traffic is being rerouted through – where applicable – and pay attention to any potential security risks associated with your current access point. Cafes can be very convenient with their free Wi-Fi, but they’re also a prime target for hackers.
3) Use a VPN
On that note, you can take an extra step in securing your connection by getting a Virtual Private Network subscription (NORDVPN.COM/WHAT-IS-A-VPN). Many providers support the Philippines these days – both as customers as well as exit nodes – so you should be able to configure the service to match your preferences and keep your data secure while browsing.
4) Don’t Reuse Passwords
This is a common mistake that can still be observed, even today, and also something that can easily prevent a large number of security issues for most people out there. As long as you always use a different, unique password for each new site and service you’re signing up for, you’re minimizing the risk of getting several accounts hacked at once.
5) Keep Your Devices up to Date
Another point that many people ignore until they run into a problem (and by then, it’s usually too late) is keeping all devices you use up to date. There’s a reason why developers are so active in releasing updates for their operating systems and apps, and there’s a huge risk associated with outdated software.
6) Don’t Talk to Strangers
It might sound like something parents often tell their kids but, unfortunately, it’s also something adults have to keep in mind these days, especially in some parts of the world. Social engineering and manipulation can be very effective when used against unsuspecting targets and avoiding an attack are as simple as being careful about who you’re talking to, and what kind of information you’re sharing.
7) Careful with Piracy
Piracy can be a very easy way to get your hands on some materials, but everything comes at a cost – even free stuff. Hackers often target pirated content with viruses and other malicious software, in some cases, custom-made and designed to circumvent most security restrictions. If you can’t trust the source, it might be a better idea to stay away from these offers.
8) Regularly Scan for Viruses
Even if you have an antivirus constantly running in the background, you should still be proactive in keeping your system safe from threats and run the scanner manually every now and then. Besides, check to ensure that the automatic updates of the antivirus have not been disabled for any reason. This can sometimes happen after an OS upgrade that messes with application settings in an incorrect way.
9) Check Your OS Privacy Settings
All modern operating systems offer various tools to maximize your privacy and ensure that you’re not getting tracked across sites, as well as various other important features. Make sure to explore those settings and enable them as early as possible in your use of whatever OS you’ve chosen – this is not something you want to postpone.
10) Have a Backup
Finally, always keep a running backup of your data and treat that system with extreme caution. It’s not difficult to set up a solution that will keep your data safely backed up in multiple locations without any action required on your part, and it’s a good idea to look at that if you still haven’t.
Generally, the most important point you’ll want to keep in mind is to handle security with a proactive approach, rather than waiting for something to go wrong in the first place. There are plenty of tools on the market today that can assist you in this regard, so make use of them.