In our modern age, we often take cybersecurity for granted. The browsers we use typically keep pages encrypted and our information safe, making us think that we are not vulnerable to cyber-attacks. However, there are many ways that your computer is vulnerable while searching the web. To help you understand how to take proper precautions to protect yourself, we’ve created a list of five tips to help you stay safe online:
Avoid public Wi-Fi
Though it might seem tempting to use Wi-Fi while waiting at the airport or train station, public Wi-Fi can be very harmful to your computer. This is because many public connections are vulnerable to hackers as they are often entirely unprotected. This means that if you put in credit card information while on a public connection, there is a chance that somebody else is watching your activity!
Use a VPN
We recommend avoiding unsafe connections when you can, but if you need to connect to public Wi-Fi, you should ensure that you are using a VPN. A VPN is a Virtual Private Network gives you online privacy and anonymity by creating a network that is private from a public internet connection. A VPN creates a private, encrypted data tunnel that prevents people from hacking into your Wi-Fi connection. A VPN will stop cybercriminals from intercepting your private data that you are sending and receiving on your device.
Virtual Private Networks are used to encrypt your internet connection to protect yourself from anyone attempting to breach the connection. For example, each time that you use the internet, your connection is directly from your device to the router. This is an incredibly simple type of connection to breach, leading hackers to get in the middle of the connection and harvest information from your computer. VPNs protect your computer by sending out an infinite number of connections at the same time, making it almost impossible to see where your data is going!
Use quality EDR software
Each time that you make a connection with a device, your device is considered the endpoint due to where the connection is ending. Endpoint detection and response (EDR) software can help you protect your device to make sure that nobody is accessing your connection without your permission.
A quality endpoint detection and response software typically involve using technology to shut off access to data in the event of a breach. A quality EDR software will stop malware, ransomware, and non-malware attacks automatically both on and offline. By using this software, it will allow you to make sure your information is secure and not easily transferable.
Complex passwords and multi-factor authentication
Create complex, strong and unique passwords to keep your personal and financial information safe. A strong password will be at least 15 characters long, mixing letters, numbers and special characters. Keep each password different and make sure not to use common phrases, words or anything identifiable to you. Change passwords frequently, it is recommended that you update it every 90 days. Using a password manager software can help you manage multiple passwords so you don’t forget them
If your online accounts offer multi-factor authentication, this is another great way to stay safe while searching the internet. Two-factor authentication adds another layer of security when logging into a website by requiring you to verify your identity through multiple pieces of information. For example, to log into an account you may need to enter a code that is sent to your phone or email as well as your password.
Install a pop-up blocker
Many viruses and other types of tracking devices are often installed onto your computer without you knowing it. While searching the internet, it is important to turn on pop-up blockers. Pop-up blockers prevent pop-up windows from appearing when you go to a website. By installing a pop-up blocker, you can help to prevent malicious software that comes in emails and online ads from attacking your computer.
Pop-up blockers will also help to prevent ad servers from keeping tabs on your browsing habits. Plus, ad and pop-up blockers will enhance your online experience by making pages’ load faster and increase the speed of your internet while you’re browsing the web!