Most people using the internet these days do not know a lot about proper security. This won’t be a problem for the majority of them, just by the law of averages. However, there are some things that can be done in order to have a safer browsing experience, and they are well worthwhile.
1. Don’t Overshare. Many people make the mistake of thinking that all internet crimes are committed with high-tech programs. The truth is, a lot of internet crimes occur because people give away their information too freely. Keep your personal information close to the vest whenever you are online.
2. Use Common Sense. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Some scams just want your money, but others want your identity, which is more damaging.
3. Use Strong Passwords. These should be legitimately hard to crack. There is valuable advice out there now on how to make your password more complicated. Don’t use the same password everywhere, either.
4. Email Security. Email is not secure. However, even people who know this assume that no one will bother hacking their email account. This is probably true, but don’t take the risk.
5. Public Networks. Use public networks with caution, and consider them unsecure. Never access your financial institution from a public network. If someone has hacked the network, they could be seeing everything you are doing.
6. Browser Security. Keep up to date on your browser. As hackers exploit weaknesses in the older versions, browser companies fix them and release patches or new versions. Remaining up to date is a good way to avoid the security flaws in the last version of whatever you are using.
7. Program Updates. Update your operating system, your applications, and anything else that will update on your computer, as well. Again, this reduces the number of ways that hackers can get into your system.
8. Shop Smart. Double-check URLs before entering a credit card, and check activity on the credit card you use online often. Don’t submit financial information if you don’t see the ‘https’ that signals a secure site. Avoid shady-looking websites that seem like they were just thrown together, as they probably were.
9. Friending Everyone. Be careful on social networking sites. The temptation to talk to people like you would friends in real life is strong, yet often some of your ‘friends’ are people you’ve never met. Don’t friend everyone, and don’t overshare.
10. Virus Software. The days of clunky, expensive software are over. There are free options out there that do a great job these days. Don’t go without– it isn’t worth it.
Internet security is a little bit about programs, but it’s mostly about people. Most online criminals are not brainiacs who can control your computer remotely. Make yourself a difficult target, and they’ll probably look elsewhere.
About the Author: This guest post is contributed by Debra Johnson, blogger and editor of live in nanny. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: – jdebra84[at]gmail.com.