The internet is everywhere. Whether you go to a mall for shopping or stay at home surfing eCommerce websites, the internet’s role is inevitable in the fast-moving life of 2021. 

But, hacks, scams, malware attacks, spyware attacks, and ransomware attacks have significantly increased in the same proportions. 

To stay safe online, you need to repel such malicious actors. Whether you are a large business venture or a regular internet user, cybercrimes are prominent for everyone. 

In 2020, In the United States alone, 155.8 million people were affected by cyberattacks and exposed their sensitive information to unwanted companies. 

So, how can one stay safe in today’s world?

Well, here are ten steps that will surely help:

Don’t throw your information out on the web.

 This might get a bit tough on many people. Today, most of us share our information on social media, but it is recommended not to push unnecessary information about ourselves on the web. 

Your clients, prospects, customers, and colleagues need not know where you were last night, where did you eat and what did you do? 

All that matters is your professional setup and background. Make sure that you have your professional portfolio in place instead of your social media.

Keep your privacy on at all times.

Have you ever wondered how the product you just searched for on Amazon pops us as an Ad on Google or Facebook?

That is because these companies feed on your personal information. They want as much information about you as they can. 

No matter which device you have, it offers a privacy section containing the “permissions” section. 

You can choose which app can use how much information from your device. Only allow those permissions you think these apps should have. 

Click wisely 

Some internet users think it is fun and safe to surf or click on anything they like but, that is far from the truth. 

Among a few authentic images lurks, the ones containing unsolicited links that can redirect you to websites full of malware. 

Cybercriminals inject viruses into the system after a user clicks on such links, so it is best to avoid clicking on such images and links. 

If you have to click a link, a simple trick is to hover the cursor over the image or a link to see if it is HTTPS encrypted, as that will help you get a rough idea about the site’s authenticity. 

Use VPN in public places.

VPN or Virtual Private Network restricts the outside world from getting the details about your data. 

It does not allow cyber criminals to get the data in decrypted form, which is why whenever you are in public, using public networks such as Wi-Fi, turn your VPN on. 

The safety of your data lies in your hands. Hackers have their eyes on public networks as they have a higher chance of finding easy bates in such places. 

So, be careful while using public networks.  

Download wisely

Not everything that has a download link under it deserves a download. You need to prioritize wisely as to what you need to download. 

Users often think that every app is safe to download and that your phone will take care of its security post download, but that is not the case. 

Cybercriminals integrate malicious viruses in downloads. As a result, you end up downloading the virus along with the app. 

It is best to avoid untrustworthy sources other than Google’s Play Store, Microsoft’s Windows Store, and Apple’s App Store to download applications. 

Maintain password security

Its 2021 and password security concern is as prominent today as it was in 2010. 

Users enter weak passwords such as “ABC123” or “123abc” and become easy bates for cybercriminals. 

Passwords need to be strong and complex so that hackers cannot access your accounts easily. 

But complex passwords are hard to remember, which is why many users forget them. An easy way to break free of this hassle is by using password managers. 

Password managers use anonymous digits as passwords that are tough for a human to guess. 

The best part about these managers is that a different password gets generated every time you log in. 

Shop securely

Online shopping is convenient and effective, but it comes with a few security issues. Cybercriminals always have an eye on ecommerce websites as breaching them means breaking into sensitive data of millions of customers. 

Bank, credit card, debit card, and login credentials will all get vulnerable to theft and susception. 

If you are the owner of an eCommerce website, the best way to deal with such atrocities is by using an Wildcard certificate. If you are a visitor to an online store, it makes sense to shop only from those sites which are HTTPS enabled.

SSL encrypts the data transfer between the server and client-side. It passes it over a secure network where no hacker can intercept it. 

SSL facilitates HTTPS encryption and is an essential factor in complying with DSS/PCI guidelines (the body that keeps the sensitive data protected). 

Choose your posts wisely. 

Do not simply post random photos, videos, and text details on the internet; instead, choose which one would best suit your audience’s interests in the long term. 

Content once posted on the Internet stays there till eternity. Even if you have deleted your posts, social sites and cybercriminals can fetch them and use them against you. 

So, do not post randomly. 

Don’t let fake profiles fool you.

The internet is open to everyone but, sometimes openness is dangerous, as in this case, many profiles are not what they claim to be. 

They trick people into believing that they are real, and after gaining trust, they fool them by gaining access to their sensitive information. 

It is best to avoid getting trapped by making them prove their authenticity through a video call. 

Never close software update popups.

Software updates are essential to ensure that hackers do not get a chance to exploit any loopholes and security vulnerabilities. 

However, many people consider them as unworthy and time-wasting as social ads. One must never close them as they are security patches that help fix the security issues. 

To Conclude

To stay safe online, you will require to make the necessary efforts in the right direction. How much fun may it sound, but the internet is equally dangerous. 

If you wisely follow all the ten steps mentioned above, you can protect yourself and steer clear of the internet’s dark side. 

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