We all love using the internet a little more than we’d admit to. The internet is a place where you can really get lost in funny stories, musical entertainment and endless TV shows. It’s a place to learn, to discover and also to enjoy yourself, but there’s no doubt that there are also security issues that come with using the internet. A good example of this is with data breaches and hackers that are known to steal personal information and sell it on the internet.
In fact, there are websites out there that can help you check if your personal details have actually been stolen at one point. There are hundreds of websites that have been breached in the past and they can range from fitness websites to real estate logins and even video game websites. No matter how innocent you think the site is, there’s a good chance that someone is lurking in the shadows waiting to steal your passwords and information.
Luckily, most of these sites have some kind of measures in place. For instance, credit card information is encrypted so that even if someone was to stumble into your details, they would have a hard time deciphering the jumbled letters and numbers that it consists of thanks to the encryption. However, certain websites may not have stored information like your real name, password and even address as encrypted data which means that anyone could see those details.
So in this article, we’re going to talk about how you can protect your family with a couple of internet safety measures that will drastically reduce the changes of your details being stolen.
Make sure the website has some kind of security measures in place
Thankfully, there are many websites out there that are more than capable of protecting you from the various threats and issues that you could be faced with. For instance, if you look at the website URL and notice that it starts with “https” then you’ll know that it’s at least providing some encryption to the data you send. You can also reduce fraud with this identity verification service and if you notice that the website supports it, then it’s probably a trustworthy service that you can put your faith into. If the website doesn’t have a, “https” link and doesn’t have any kind of security measures or reputation to speak of, then it’s best to try and avoid that website.
Avoid shady websites that look off
There are plenty of websites out there that will promise you the world and give you free stuff. However, these are likely scam websites used to trick gullible people into downloading malicious software or random spyware programs. These sites are often difficult to detect but if you pay attention you’ll start to recognize which sites are questionable and which sites are trustworthy. It’s usually down to researching websites that you feel are “too good to be true” and examining what others say. If the website itself doesn’t show on Google, then it’s probably been blacklisted for fraudulent activity.
Try and limit the personal information that you share
While Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms are perfect for getting in touch with family, meeting new people and keeping up with friends, it’s also a great place for hackers to look for vulnerable targets. Since these websites allow you to play a lot of information about yourself out into the public, a lot of this will be collected and there’s a good chance that it can be used against you or sold in the future. However, there are a couple of countermeasures that prevent this, but you should still be wary of giving out your personal information to people that you do not know. Namely, you should avoid giving out any personal information when people ask for it. This is a common tactic among people that are trying to pose as an important person such as a manager or security professional. If they really are who they claim to be, then they won’t need to ask you for your password!
Make your passwords secure
There’s a fantastic resource on the internet known as How Secure is My Password that will tell you how good your password really is. One key thing to note is that random letters and numbers often don’t change the strength of your password. Instead, what does make a difference is the length of your password. For example, the password “password” would be cracked instantly and a hacker would gain instant access to your account. However, “passwordpassword” (literally typing it twice) or “mypasswordispassword” would take far more years to crack, with the latter potentially taking 16 billion years to discover. In short, use longer passwords that you can remember such as a silly phrase or memorable sentence–they’re far more secure than random letters and numbers!
Secure your computer with a firewall and an antivirus program
It’s important to consider installing a firewall and an antivirus program to help defend your computer. A firewall helps by preventing unauthorised connections from connecting to your PC. This means that there’s less chance that someone will try to steal your information, read what you’re typing or even look at your screen. Antivirus programs protect your computer by providing active protection. It scans everything on your computer and tells you if there’s a malicious or suspicious file, quarantining it and alerting you so that you can make a decision whether to delete or allow it. With this combination of protective software, you’ll be able to secure your PC from obvious threats but it likely won’t alert you of new phishing attempts and it cannot protect you against scams that rely on social engineering.
Hopefully, this article has given you some insight into how you can make the internet a more secure place for your family. As you use the internet more, you’ll start to discover what is a safe practice and what isn’t safe for the family and how to protect your computers and your family from online threats.