When you want to prevent your bike from being stolen, you use a bike lock, right? In that same manner, when you want to make your home secure from potential intruders, in all likelihood, you lock the door every time you leave. Finally, when you want to protect your most valuable possessions like gold watches and jewelry, you rent a safe in your local bank, right?
But what do you do when you want to ensure your internet security and protect your identity online? In a few words, you take proactive measures to protect your internet security whenever you open your laptop and connect to the internet. Internet security or cybersecurity is the simple, general term for practices, processes, and technologies one should use to protect online data from misuse or unauthorized access.
In this article, we’ll discuss four internet security tips and best practices to help keep you safe when online.
You’re probably well aware that setting strong passwords for your online profiles is perhaps the most important thing you can do to ensure your internet security and keep online intruders out of your data. According to the NIST’s (National Institute of Standards and Technology) 2022 password policy framework, when creating passwords for your digital profiles, you should consider the following:
● Stop using the complex mixture of symbols, upper case letters, and numbers. Instead, go with something more user-friendly but make sure that your new passwords have at least eight characters and a maximum length of sixty-four characters.
● Stop using the same password for multiple profiles and websites.
● Your new passwords should contain at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, a number, and four symbols—but not %#@&_.
● Go with passwords that are easy to remember, and ensure that you never leave out a password hint in the open or make it publicly available for others to see.
● If you forget a password, reset it as soon as possible. But, even if you don’t forget your passwords, make it a habit to change them once per year as a general refresh.
Nevertheless, if you want to remain on top of your passwords at all times, you should strongly consider the possibility of utilizing a password management tool like Bitdefender Password Manager to store and organize all your digital passwords with ease. Such tools come with robust cryptographic algorithms to ensure the safety of your online credentials and let you manage your logins with the help of a single master password.
Besides having strong passwords for your digital profiles, one should also never use public Wi-Fi to connect to the internet without using a professional virtual private network (VPN) first.
By utilizing professional and fast VPN software, the total traffic between your device and the VPN server is fully encrypted. Because all public Wi-Fi networks, like restaurants, shopping malls, airports, hotels, and more, are the easiest target for those who try to capture and exploit other people’s traffic, connecting your device to a VPN first is an absolute must in order to secure your traffic with military-grade encryption, thus making it much more challenging for cybercriminals to access your device’s data.
Nowadays, when computer malware and viruses are practically everywhere, installing the latest version of your antivirus software on your device to protect your computer against software or unauthorized code that may threaten your OS is another absolute must. After all, computer viruses are bad for your device’s health as they can slow down your device or delete crucial data and files—something you definitely want to avoid if you’re going to ensure your internet security.
The antivirus software of your choosing can play a significant role in protecting your device by detecting real-time threats to ensure that your computer is always safe. Nevertheless, once you install the antivirus on your device, don’t forget to use it from time to time. Run the software to run and schedule regular virus scans to keep your device virus-free and ensure that no malware bothers your online experience ever.
Last but definitely not least, in your efforts to remain safe while on the internet, stay aware of email messages from unknown senders, and never click on the links or attachments that usually accompany them.
While inbox spam filters have gotten pretty good at spotting the most prominent spam messages, the latest phishing emails can be made so that they mimic your friends, business associates, and trusted companies and institutions (like your local bank or the IRS), so always keep your eyes open for anything that looks suspicious.
Malware, phishing, and hacking incidents are the three most common forms of causing internet security breaches these days. However, what’s more troubling is that most of the hacking attempts directly result from human errors. Therefore, awareness and education are incredibly important to fight cybercriminal activities and remain safe on the internet.
Following the above-mentioned internet security tips and understanding how personal security breaches occur, we hope you’ll successfully mitigate your risk from an internet security incident and protect your data and identity like you should!