Internet safety: 8 ways to better protect yourself
Unfortunately, you cannot avoid all the pitfalls of the internet. However, most of them can be avoided or at least prepared for. This guide will take you through how you should protect yourself, not only on the internet. As a result, you will know the pitfalls that may come your way, and your devices will be safer.
Antivirus protection secures devices from malware, malicious viruses, and hackers. Antivirus also protects your device with its own firewall to prevent suspicious data transfers. Most of the protections will also block hackers and unauthorized applications from accessing your camera, offer a secure browser to log in to your online banking to protect you from fraudulent sites, as well as a password manager or tools to block, wipe or locate a lost device. In addition, with antivirus, you can protect your device from data theft, tracking, and damage.
Some companies offer basic antivirus protection completely free, bundled licenses for multiple devices, or antivirus protection and a VPN or password manager to go with it.
We recommend trying the proven Avast antivirus protection, which offers a free version.
You should have a different password for each account, yet most people only use one or change a few. Unfortunately, this is exploited by hackers because if they get your password from any account, then they have complete access to your online life. This poses a huge threat.
Upper and lower-case letters, numbers, characters, and a length of at least 12 characters still do not mean you can safely use your password across accounts. In fact, it is often the case that passwords are stolen directly from the service providers you have an account with. A strong password will not protect you from this.
The biggest problem is remembering long and complex passwords. But a password manager can do that for you because it will generate and store your passwords in encrypted storage on your device. If you install a browser extension or mobile app, it will also automatically fill in your login details. You can also log into the password manager on your mobile phone with a fingerprint or facial scan.
A good password manager is a necessity for account login security. Several VPN and antivirus protection providers also offer password managers as part of their subscriptions.
For even more account security, there is two-factor authentication, sometimes abbreviated as 2FA (from Two-Factor Authentication). Two-factor authentication serves as a second layer of security on top of the traditional password. Two-factor authentication can use an additional device or, more commonly, an SMS or numeric code from an app. Almost all paid versions of password managers support two-factor authentication.
More secure than an unencrypted SMS is a six- or more-digit numeric code that generates automatically and changes every 30 seconds in the app. When you log in to an account with two-factor authentication set up, you enter your password and then this generated code. You can often add your personal device as trusted in your accounts, and the next time you log in from that device, the second step will no longer be required. You will only need it on new devices.
Updated apps and systems are also important to protect your device. Updates contain improvements and often security patches that make it impossible to exploit discovered system weaknesses. If you do not install updates, you are putting your device at a security risk.
Most antivirus systems and select VPNs automatically check for new updates. So you do not need to worry about anything. You can also set automatic updates in most apps and on all devices.
Internet protection also includes VPNs, which protect your internet connection by encrypting and preventing sensitive data from being stolen, not only on public Wi-Fi. In addition, a VPN hides your device’s IP address. As a result, your location and searches are anonymous.
Most VPN providers also offer built-in phishing site checks to prevent access to fraudulent sites that want to steal your login credentials and other sensitive data. Also, some providers’ secure servers can block malware and other malicious software.
Many antivirus companies also offer VPN services; these fit perfectly into complete protection for your device. Of course, VPNs work with all antiviruses, so you do not need to get antivirus protection and VPN from the same provider but choose the subscription that suits you best.
Email is a complete necessity these days. We often receive a lot of mail; both solicited and spam (junk mail). In addition, Ransomware, phishing (nowadays popular hacking attacks), and other malware spread through emails. Antivirus protection will protect you in most cases, but it is best to prevent the threat. Keeping your internet mail organized is essential to spot new messages better and assess whether they are suspicious or normal communications. Therefore, it is best to move emails that have already been dealt with to the trash or archive them.
Also, consider all the newsletters you receive and which ones you need. Unsubscribe from unnecessary newsletters. When signing up for a newsletter, think about whether you want to receive the newsletters permanently or only want a given discount coupon for subscribing, for example.
For a short-term, one-time newsletter subscription, a ten-minute email saves you the hassle of unsubscribing. The ten-minute email generates an email address that will only work temporarily and then deletes itself. You can indefinitely extend the retention time of the ten-minute mailbox until you close the sheet with this page, always for ten minutes (there is a button at the bottom of the page to extend it to a hundred minutes).
Fraudulent emails are no longer written in a compiler but normally have all the essentials. Such emails always contain an attachment or link. They may look like a mistake or even a newsletter. If you do not normally receive email from this address, or if it should not concern you, beware. Remember that your bank or other services will never ask you to send passwords by email. If it is from a company offering, always double-check on their website (never click on a link) if you suspect they are offering it.
Backup is not directly related to internet protection, but it is part of protecting device data and prevents many problems. The data on a device is often the most valuable and irreplaceable thing. That is why it is essential to back them up – at least the most important ones. To back it up, you can use an external hard drive, cloud storage, or NAS (network-attached storage). In addition, most backup software offers the option to set the interval at which the backup should perform.
If you want to use cloud storage that offers complete privacy for your data, then we recommend Sync.com. An alternative is pCloud, but it does not encrypt the data on its servers by default. Both cloud storage services also offer a free version.
The browser is also important for secure internet access. Many browsers offer protection against fraudulent sites and trackers, pop-ups, and ads. One of these is Brave, which is a great alternative to Chrome if you want privacy and built-in extensions to make your browsing safer. Unlike Firefox, where you have to install most of these add-ons.
Brave also offers browser add-ons, of course. You can choose from all the extensions available for Chrome.
If you want a secure and private browser that you do not need to set up anything tediously, Brave is a great choice. In addition to the built-in extensions for privacy and security, Brave offers several other enhancements that you can take advantage of.
Try not to act impulsively on the internet, and always move with reasonable caution.
Be aware of abnormalities in your normal browsing. For example, if you notice a change in the appearance of a page, be aware of it and double-check the address of the page or search for it again using a search engine.