How to Stay Safe on the Internet: Online Safety Guide

The Internet has become such an essential part of our life today, that we are highly dependent on it. It’s a platform to search for any information, knowledge, and also for entertainment, communication, and multiple other purposes.  Though there are a number of benefits available through the use of the internet it comes up with some limitations as well which makes you doubt your online safety.

online safety
online safety

What is internet safety? Securing your data from hackers, malware, scams, etc to browse the internet safely. Everyone who uses the internet wants to be safe online so that there are no problems in their work while browsing it. The Internet is an excellent source of fun but leads to dangerous and risky situations if necessary precautions are not taken while surfing the web.

See also: Internet Scams: What Are They and How to Avoid Them?

14 Proven Tips for Your Online Safety

Below here are some tips that will help you to avoid risks while surfing online. These are widespread and straightforward digital safety measures that can be adopted by anyone who wants to avoid any risky situations online.

Backing Up Data Regularly

Data backup is basically a technique to duplicate your original data and to store it in your device online or offline. Data backups act as a life belt when malwares prey on your system and you lose or misplace all your crucial information.

back up data
back up data

Majorly, backing up your data lets you freely use the internet without having to worry about losing data. Users are suggested to make a backup of their pictures, videos, documents, music, emails, and all kinds of databases. The most common way of backing up data is uploading it in cloud storage, using external removable devices such as pen drives, CDs, memory cards, and hard drives. Backing up regularly is a part of the preparation you need to do to avoid the trap of ransomware

Use VPN

Internet privacy is very tricky to achieve when frauds are keeping an eye on every move you make. VPNs play an essential role in online security as they conceal your movements and activities from cyber-attackers and hackers. It hides your real IP address which disallows third parties from tracking your actions, such as the websites you visit and other records.

use vpn
use vpn

If you regularly use public or unknown WIFIs, then VPNs must be a practice you religiously follow to avoid compromising with your data and security. VPNs encrypt your IP address and cookies and allow you to use the internet without leaving traces or footprints. Apart from this, VPNs also ensure safe data transfer using encryption technology to protect it from leakage.

See Also: Six Ways to Fix Windows has detected an IP Address conflict

2- Factor Authentication

With the surge in malicious attacks by criminals on users and organizations, 2-factor authentication (2FA) has performed the role of a blanket that blocks malwares. Additional to the username and password, users are required to provide some extra information, such as user-specific questions (favorite movies, hometown, and allergic food), fingerprint scans, voice scans, face detection, or a security token.

use 2 factor authentication
use 2 factor authentication

The risk of having your password stolen does not lead to data leakage since it’s highly improbable that the offender has access to the additional information to crack their account. Full dependence on passwords is not a reliable option anymore, thus, 2FA improves one’s security online by providing an extra coating of protection.

Awareness About Scams

The Variety of Cyber scams is as vast as an ocean. One has to be observant of different kinds of frauds that take place regularly. Scammers are always updating their methodologies to fool internet users who are unaware of cyber-security tips. Phishing, impersonation, vishing fake calls, and pop-up notifications are some traditional styles of exploitation of consumers. Recognition of such scams is the first step that users must prepare themselves for.

beware of scams
beware of scams

The most common rip-offs are similar-looking names of the authentic brand, text notifications, and unauthentic websites. How to shop online safely? To prevent falling as a victim, you have to be attentive to these scams that happen in the commonplace and take into account small details. 

Be Careful To Use Personal Information

Currently, there are a lot of websites and apps that can potentially invade personal privacy by tracking and asking for your personal information to access their content. A person needs to sign up with their complete personal details like full name, address, phone number, e-mail id, etc. But some of these sites might be fake or fraudulent and can misuse your data and account information.

So for your online safety be very cautious of what and where you share your data especially when it’s all about your identity. Your account details and passwords can be misused by some sites so you should only sign up to the trusted sites in which there are no chances of risks.

safegaurd personal information
Safegaurd personal information

Besides this, as social networking sites are immensely used sites nowadays, so you should be very careful while making friends on these sites, as many people pretend to be someone else on these social networking sites by creating fake accounts and browsing through them. So think wisely before sharing your personal information with strangers. Internet safety for teenagers on social media is critical.

Use Strong Passwords

It is one of the easiest and very useful techniques to always protect your data from criminals or hackers thereby ensuring online safety for yourselves. You should always use strong passwords for your accounts so that it won’t be easy for hackers to crack them for misusing your information. Strong passwords include upper and lower case letters, figures, and special characters. It might be difficult for you to remember them but if you want to protect your data from intruders, you should use strong passwords for your online safety.

use strong passwords
use strong passwords

You can also use a password manager for storing all your passwords safely. Dashlane, sticky password, and LastPass are some popularly used password managers. The more secure your password, the more robust it would be for hackers to infect your system with malware. This way they won’t be able to steal your data and financial information.

Also, you should never forget to change your password from time to time as a lot of people forget to change their passwords timely and they keep on using the same passwords over and over again. People also tend to use the same passwords for different accounts thinking it would be easier for them to remember it.

It would be a little challenging to have different passwords for different accounts but it is always advisable to do so to for online safety purposes. Using the same passwords over different accounts gives an open invitation to hackers for hacking your accounts easily.

Hide Your IP Address

When you connect to an Internet connection, you are provided an IP address by the internet service provider. If your IP address is public, it will transmit online and will record in log files kept on those websites or internet servers that you have used. These accessed websites will leave behind a history of your Internet activities.

hide ip address
hide ip address

So if you are looking for online safety, you should definitely hide your IP address as it will, in turn, hide your geographical location, prevent web tracking, will avoid a digital footprint, will not bypass any content filters, and will also prevent bans and blacklisting. By removing the IP addresses, your Internet activities would not be traced by unauthorized people. But unfortunately, sometimes it is not possible to hide the public IP address of a home computer and still be able to use it due to slow internet connectivity.

There are two ways to protect IP addresses from most internet servers. One is by using an anonymous proxy server and the other is by using virtual private networking. Hide IP Address Safe is a very reliable and efficient privacy software. It enables you to hide your IP address to hide the internet traffic and also your real geographical location while browsing the Internet. It also helps you to surf anonymously without disclosing your identity to access blocked and unauthorized sites easily. You can also follow tips to hide your IP address from WhatIsMyAddress.

Download From Trusted Sources Only

Whenever you are downloading any stuff like games, movies, files, software or anything else, only download it from sites that are already verified by trusted sources and also have good ratings.

download carefully
download carefully

Do not select anything suggested by the site to download on your computer. It may harm your device through viruses. Also never try to download any illegal or copyrighted content on your device without paying for it.

See Also : AT&T APN Settings | Step by Step Guide

Use A Firewall

You should always use a Firewall on your PC to ensure online safety even if your network is secured. A firewall is a hardware/software that performs the function of an electronic barrier to block unauthorized access to your computer and devices. It makes sure that all the devices connected to a computer network are secured including webcams and smart thermostats.

use fire wall
use fire wall

The firewall prevents hackers from entering your network without your permission. You can use the Firewall that comes up as standard with your operating system or a third party software programming as you wish to.

Always Use Anti-virus Programs And An Anti-Spyware Program

It is very unsafe to browse through your Internet without having anti-virus software. Due to high chances of viruses, spam and hackers may try to use your personal information or infect your computer with a bug that will damage it. Many threats come in the absence of anti-virus and anti-spyware programs that you may not be even aware of.

Use anti-virus programs
Use anti-virus programs

So always use a reputable and robust IT security solution. It helps you prevent any corrupt, malicious software from entering your operating system. Also, it cleanups all the issues that your device might face. Always remember to update your anti-virus programs by enabling their auto updates for ensuring your online safety. Also, don’t forget to update them from time to time so there may not be any shortcomings due to that.

It prevents your computer system from Trojans, spyware, malware, and viruses for uninterrupted functioning of your system. Anti-virus proves to be very useful to have professional help and is always secured and does not let hackers attack your data. Do Online shopping safely with antivirus.

Do Not Open E-mail Attachments From The Unknown Source

For ensuring your online safety do not open e-mail attachments sent to you by an anonymous source. Only open attachments that have come up from your known sources in a .doc, .pdf, or any other format. As some junk e-mails might contain viruses or spyware or malware that may harm your computer along with its data. Also, avoid opening e-mails with file attachments that end with .exe extensions.

e-mail attachments from the Unknown Source
e-mail attachments from the Unknown Source

Sometimes hackers create complex e-mails which contain attractive sales offers or official-looking messages kind of stuff for attracting viewers. Thus, maintain your online safety by keeping a check on URLs, unsolicited offers, and file extensions before opening them.

Try Not To Use Public Computers

Sometimes out of urgency you might have to go to Internet cafes for going online. As even now Internet cafes are a popular option for people to access the Internet when they do not have a computer or Web access at some particular locations.

See Also : How to Change NAT Type on Xbox One? (Best Method)

Avoid Using Public Computers
Avoid Using Public Computers

But in cafes, a particular computer is used by different people for different purposes. It increases the chances of containing spyware that can log into the visited e-mail accounts and websites.

It creates a threat to your data as any unknown person might create trouble for you. So for maintaining your online safety try not to access your e-mails and other personal sites through public computers.

Customize Your Privacy Settings

You should always go through your privacy settings while using any social networking platform. It is essential because the default settings of many sites are invasive. Also, it might leave all your data on public view mode. It will avail any user to check your personal information without letting you know. Eventually, it will disturb and affect your online safety. So always customize your profile for privacy settings according to your needs and preferences before using it further.

Customize your Privacy Settings
Customize your Privacy Settings

Also, try to enter only required information to use their services. There are some browsers that protect your data from third-party advertisers making it impossible for them to track your doings on the web without your permission. This provides additional privacy to you to secure your personal data and be sure of your online safety.

Avoid Using Free WiFi

There are multiple numbers of shops, public places, and stores that follow the strategy of providing free Wi-Fi to attract a number of customers who are hungry for using free data and having wireless access to the Internet without passwords. Though Public WiFi is a fantastic way to stay connected online when having no internet access of your own. But it has some specific security risks and can hamper your online safety.

Avoid Free WiFi
Avoid Free WiFi

This free service seems to be convenient and helpful. However, it has repercussions as it can easily track all the activities happening on your device. It gives hackers an open invitation to access your e-mails, personal documents, and information, banking information, passwords, etc. So for maintaining your online safety try to avoid tempted websites towards these free but risky services. Do not use it unless it’s an emergency.

Conclusion

These tips will help you to ensure your online safety. Also, it will protect you while browsing any website or app on the browser. So you must try any of these tips to be free from any online threats.

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You can always find me playing the piano or playing FIFA when I'm not binge-watching TV Series with pizzas. Fountainhead of TechWhoop. Life motto: The only time success comes before work is in the dictionary.

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