How To Stay Safe On The Web

Sunday, July 23, 2017


The internet has changed our lives for the better in the 21st century, we can now buy things online and have them deliver to us, we can talk to each other and see each other’s faces using the internet. However, there are some drawbacks to the internet. As with anything in human history, people have sought to abuse the internet, exploiting its flaws to negatively affect others. When using the internet for any form of commerce, you have to have the right know how and protection! Here are some things you can do.

Ignore Suspicious Emails

Many of us receive emails, very little of them are of very interest and most of these spam emails get filtered out into our junk folders, however, sometimes the odd one or two scam emails will get through. You can often tell apart a scam email because it is very vague due to the fact it has been sent to many people. The email will often pose as your bank or someone wishing to give you lots of money, but this is always too good to be true. Check with your bank if they have sent an email, if they are asking for a username or password then you know it is fake because banks never do this. If you wish to verify who the sender of the email really is, websites like email-checker allow you to verify the integrity of the email address, allowing you to see whether the account is a fake one or not!

Install Antivirus and Antispyware

As opposed to email scamming, actual hacking is much more effective at breaching people’s accounts, so this has to be addressed. Hacking can come in a variety of forms, through spyware of viruses. Spyware installs a small file onto your computer that records everything you type or records your screen. This information is then relayed back to the hacker with the knowledge of all your usernames and passwords! Viruses work a bit differently, oftentimes they just destroy your computer, however, some of them are known as “Blunt Force” viruses that try to login to your bank accounts as fast as possible by putting in lots of word and letter combinations into the login screen as fast as possible, hoping to eventually crack it! To prevent this, you need cyber security. These softwares often are able to delete any form of spyware installed on your computer by scanning what it does, and can shut down any form of hacking by putting up a firewall that prevents any outgoing signals from your computer until it can find and delete the file causing the issue!

Watch Out For Ads

Ads and pop-ups plague some websites, they bring up separate tabs or fill your screen with different videos, it can be a pain trying to close them! Some ads do have links to malicious websites or download links, even though you hopefully have some form of antivirus, prevention is always better than cure! Some of the more internet experienced amongst us will know what a scam or virus ad will look like to avoid it, but a lot of people don’t. A lot of browsers offer AdBlock extensions for their browsers. Instead of you having to close all of the ads, AdBlockers close them automatically down for you, meaning you never have to deal with a potentially dangerous ad ever again! All you have to do is install it to your browser which only takes one click and you’re away.

Make Complex Passwords

Whilst this sounds silly and obvious, having complex passwords is a very good way to stay safe online! Most hacking is done by amateurs who have very little experience and are able to guess your password or use some small software to assist them with it. If your password is complex, meaning it has a lot of digits, random letters and lots of varying capitalisation, it will be incredibly difficult for people to get into your account! Most hackers base their attacks on the assumption that your password will be an actual word, whereas if it’s just a string of letters and numbers and symbols, they will have a much harder time! Websites like password-generator can generate random passwords for you, though be warned they are very random and you’ll have to write them down somewhere to remember them!

If you follow any of these tips, your online browsing experience will be much safer!  You’ll not have to worry about malicious ads, and your antivirus will protect you from anything that does manage to breach your system! Of course, all of these things work better in unison with each other, so it’s definitely recommended to do all of them! If you’re an employer and are wondering do you really need people that know of all this, read this article for a useful insight!



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