What should you do to secure yourself on the internet? The best practices to follow!

Internet is now considered a fundamental right of every human. In fact, it is a basic utility that everyone uses and pays for it. However, it is not secure! Yes! It is simply not secure if you don’t educate yourself about cybersecurity. According to cyber reports by notable cybersecurity companies such as IBM, Fortinet, and Cisco, the cybercrime economy is going to be 3rd biggest economy in the world after the United States and China by 2030. Hence, it is a huge challenge for organizations and individuals to secure their computer networks and data. Indeed, it is difficult to completely eradicate cybercrime and stop hackers from stealing your precious data. But it is possible to reduce the risk of being an easy target for them. And it is completely dependent on your education about internet usage. In this blog, we list down and briefly discuss the most important things you should do to secure yourself on the internet.

So, here we go!

1. Use Strong Passwords

You might take it for granted while choosing a password for your personal and official accounts. Password cracking is one of the topmost methods used by hackers to steal your data. Choosing passwords such as your names, dictionary words, 123457, your pets’ names, or your education is the worst practice to keep yourself secure on the internet. Always choose strong passwords with at least ten letters, and include special characters such as &%$£!&, etc. The best practice is to change your password frequently, several times a year.

2. Never Open Emails from unknown/unexpected sources

Phishing emails are a common method for sending a virus to recipients using malicious links and software. Sometimes, the sender may include the KeyLogger in the email, which, if you click, will start recording all keys your press on your computer. And all the information will be visible to the hacker. Hence, never open emails from sources that you don’t know or expect. Sometimes, you would get emails from illegal antivirus companies showing you a message like “Your computer is at risk; install our antivirus to protect your data”. Never ever click on that link.

3. Use Two Factor Verification

It looks annoying sometimes, but always use two-factor verification on your social media accounts, official emails, and credit card purchases. Most organizations provide this function to their applications; always opt for this as this is high-level security. You should only verify your identity using a valid mobile number or email address.

4. Secure Online Purchase

You must be smart while purchasing anything online. Always put your credit card information if the company is using secure and encrypted data transfer using HTTPS protocol. The website like must have https://, while you are sending your credit card information. Avoid websites with no https protection.

5. Never Connect to Public Wi-Fi

One of my teachers used to say in class, “There is nothing called free lunch in the world”. Hence free Wi-Fi is not always useful. Any hacker connected to the same public network can see your data on that network. Hence, avoid using public free Wi-Fi.

6. Do Not Share Personal Information with anyone

Sometimes, you get calls and emails from scammers about winning a lottery that you never applied. But they offer a hefty amount of money and ask for your information. This is called social engineering in cybersecurity. Never share your personal information with anyone on the internet. Do you even know the meaning of “PERSONAL” …? If Yes… then keep it personal

7. Update Your Device

The companies keep updating their software applications and operating systems whenever any vulnerability is spotted. These updates are then released to mitigate that vulnerability. You must update your device and application if it is asked to do so.

8. Use Antivirus Software

Always use paid antivirus software on your machines. It helps protect your devices and all other devices on the same networks. Because a virus can self-spread and infect other devices on the network.

9. Use VPN

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) application will keep you secure on a public network by hiding your original IP address from hackers. If you are on a shared network, a hacker can sniff your network data and collect your data for the attack in the future. It is vital to use a paid VPN to ensure the security of your device and data.

10. Pay With Your Smartphone

If possible, use your smartphone for payments in retail shops and supermarkets. Whipping out of the card is insecure, and your financial data can be stolen easily. While applications such as Google pay and Apple pay or much more secure than card payments.

Lastly, you must understand the importance of your personal data and use the internet securely. You should also educate your family and kids about privacy and security on the internet. There are many other security practices for organizations and individuals which can be considered. But if you follow these top practices, you will be able to secure yourself on the internet.

I hope you like this article and apply this information practically to secure yourself. Stay tuned for my next blog.!

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Erasmus Alumni

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