10 Ways to Stay Safe on the Internet

6 min read

The global network entertains us, teaches things, introduces to the globe and helps to earn money. However, without knowledge of the digital hygiene rules it is easy to become a victim of scammers. We will tell how to protect yourself on the Internet and not to lose your personal data.

What is the danger?

  • Fraud. When a user pays for purchases or services with a bankcard on a malicious site, the creators of the resource can get access to the user's details.
  • Hacker attacks. The case when the attackers get logins and passwords from mail, online banking or social network.
  • Data leakage. The collection of personal information of a person for transmission to third parties. Facebook got into such a scandal. The social network allowed a massive transfer of data of 50 million users, who were then shown political targeted advertising.
  • Penetration. Providing remote access for fraudsters to a personal computer through malware.
  • Phishing. Fake sites for popular services: social networks, payment resources, online banks. Mailings that are disguised as mailings from reputable sites (Google, Mail.ru, Facebook, VK). They are designed to fool a person and try to get access to confidential data - logins and passwords.
  • Cheating. Offer in social networks, online stores, bulletin boards, where the seller is ready to give the goods for a low price. Payment is accepted online or by transfer to the card. After the seller disappears and does not get in touch.

What can help to protect yourself on the Internet?

To protect yourself on the Internet you do not need to build a defense against each type of penetration - it is enough to comply with comprehensive security measures and use common sense. This will reduce the likelihood of the leakage of personal information and prevent malicious software from affecting you.

1. Antivirus

This is a basic security software. Antivirus software tasks include detecting spyware, viruses, phishing resources, dangerous servers, and suspicious traffic. Popular antiviruses cope with most of the threats that come to the computer from the network or removable media. True, they do not protect against user actions on sites. That is, if the resource did not cause the program suspicion and opened, clicking on links or actions with elements will no longer be protected.

2. VPN

VPN is a secure network that hides the IP address and location. It securely encrypts all traffic and data transmitted from the device. If you need to bypass the site blocking, get anonymity online or connect to Wi-Fi in a public place, use a VPN.

3. Temporary Anonymous Mail

Temporary mail is a box with a random address and a limited lifetime. It is convenient when you need access to the service with registration, and you do not plan to use it for a long time. In addition, the temporary emails usually do not request to log in or specify personal information. Just go to the site and use the address.

4. Permanent encryption

So that the result of the actions on the site does not become a leak of personal data or a spam attack on the mail, use resources the network address of which begins with HTTPS. This means that the connection between you and the server is encrypted - the information cannot be intercepted.

Modern browsers are reminiscent of the risk of an unencrypted connection. If when checking the certificate data does not match, a warning appears on the screen. True, it can be ignored by clicking "I accept the risk, still go."

To increase security, encrypt as much Internet traffic as you can with the HTTPS Everywhere extension. It automatically forces sites to use the HTTPS protocol instead of HTTP. It can be installed for free in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera browsers, including on mobile devices.

5. Complex passwords

The complexity of passwords directly determines their reliability, so it is recommended to use long random combinations of characters. First, it’s almost impossible to brute force them. Secondly, they are not tied to the user's identity.

Do not use the same passwords. Ideally, each site should have its own combination. It is dangerous to use the same code for all email accounts, social networks and banking services.

6. Two-factor authentication (authentication)

To protect yourself on the Internet, use two-factor authentication. This means that when you try to log in to the service, you will need to specify two secret evidence parameters. With standard input, there is only one such parameter - the password. In the case of two-factor authentication, you will need to enter another one. Most often this is a random generated code that is sent via SMS to the phone. If the attacker has taken possession of the password, then he will not be able to log into the account.

7. Caution with mail

Be careful with the files attached to the letters in the e-mail. Never open and run them if the source is unknown. Otherwise, make sure that someone really sent you an important document. Do not forget to also check the file with an antivirus.

8. Timely software update

Criminals improve their tools, and developers from the "bright" side - strengthen the defense. Both rivals study each other’s methods and try to respond to changes in a timely manner. New options for hacking and surveillance come online every day, so to reduce the risks to a minimum, you should regularly update the software. It includes antivirus, operating systems and browser.

9. Secret search engine

Use DuckDuckGo. This is a system that does not collect data about its visitors, does not store IP addresses and cookies. There is no advertising here, and search results are objective (Google and Yandex create a personalized results tape, which may not get some useful links). DuckDuckGo - will help protect yourself on the Internet and ensure privacy while searching for information on the network.

10. Secret Browser

Tor is a sensational browser that, contrary to popular opinion, is popular not only with drug dealers and terrorists. Tor passes the connection to the end server through several intermediaries and, thus, hides data about the user and his device. No one will know what your IP address is, what sites you visit, and what files you transfer. The program prevents the work of all elements that can potentially be used to obtain information about users.

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