Apart from the rising COVID-19 cases, one of the things that is seeing a huge surge of people is the internet. Internet is a vast ocean to explore but mind you, there are plenty of bad predatory fishes out here that can harm you. It becomes a sincere responsibility of everyone that they browse the internet safely.
First of all, internet safety is a very important topic that a lot of people avoid, and avoid these safety tips/rules can be dangerous. You might get defrauded by a website, lose your life-long hard-earned fortune to some hackers, have your confidential data which may include some personal photos, videos, or chats. Overall, the consequences are always bad so why take the risk?
Tips to Browse the Internet Safely
Use a VPN to Browse the Internet
To browse the internet safely, this is by far the most important rule that has to do everything with internet safety and your privacy. Just a very simple definition, a VPN changes your IP address to some other country. For example, if you are using a VPN service of the US in India, whenever you will visit a website, your IP address will tell your location somewhere in Russia.
Why use a VPN, you might ask? Well, a lot of people track your internet activities and by “people” I mean you ISP (Internet Service Provider), people of the Government. No one wants to be tracked by their ISP when they are using the internet.
Using a VPN will solve that problem for you, no one will be able to track your web activities when you will use a VPN. You can also get access to the banned websites when you are using a VPN.
Read: How to Manually Add VPN Profiles on Any Device
Using a Secure Browser
Having a good and reliable browser is as important as having a VPN. You would want a very safe, secure, and reliable browser whenever you are browsing the internet. Just make sure you are not using any fishy browsers that send you weird notifications, vibrate while you are browsing. Just use a good and secure browser to browse the internet safely on your device.
Read: Top 5 Best Web Browsers in 2020
Using Complex Passwords, Dual-Factor Authentication
It’s no secret that complex passwords are very hard to crack. So, it is always recommended that you keep a very strong password so hackers can’t crack it. Complex passwords are a combination of alphabets, numbers, and symbols. For example, “Xz112Rgbhg@123@@XX” is a complex password.
Complex passwords are hard to crack, but not impossible to crack! That is why pretty much every social media platform has dual-factor authentication available. Dual-factor authentication adds a second layer of security as you are supposed to enter an OTP, unique code to login into the social media platform. You can easily find the option to enable dual-factor Authentication in the Settings of the social media app, generally under the Security tab.
Read: 3+ 2FA Applications to Secure Your Online Accounts
Do Not Enter Your Credentials on Unknown Sources
A lot of people often get weird links on their WhatsApp, Gmail and they generally read, “Your Account has been verified, click on the link and login with your Instagram account to get the blue tick”, “Your account has been blocked, login here to unblock”, “You have won a lottery, log in with your Facebook account”.
Let me tell you, these are just baits that are designed to lure some users so that hackers can get their social media account credentials, they design a mock page that looks exactly the same as the login page of a social media platform, once you enter your login credentials, it’s all gone.
Never click on those links, if you really have a problem with your social media account and expecting a mail, always check from which email address it is being sent, if you are using a browser, check the URL if it is the same as the social media platform, match it with your social media email, URL and only then proceed to give them anything and then you can browse the internet safely.
Keep Your Personal Information Very Limited
What are the chances of you handing your home address to a random stranger whom you just met on the road? Well, I would guess very less. Right? Then why hand this information to a million people online?
Any employer, person on the internet doesn’t need to know your family members, your home address, or anything personal like that. They only need to know about your expertise, and how to get in touch with you so be very careful with your personal information and do not give it to everyone.
Also, be careful about what you post, do not post every day-to-day activity on the internet, and show a lot of your house, personal space to the people of the internet, some criminal may use it to break-in into your house.
Aim to Practice Safe Browsing
One of the things that we are often warned by our parents is do not get close to those people, they are not good, or do not go to that place, it is not safe there. Well, the same rule applies here.
The “bad” people or hackers/criminals use some very compelling stuff as bait, the ultimate goal is to lure people to click more and more on this stuff, this is the time when users become most vulnerable and then just one accidental click can leak your personal data, or you can have a swamp of malware on your device.
Just do not go to that path and the hackers won’t even have a chance, and by practicing safe browsing, you can browse the internet safely.
Read: What are CAPTCHAs? How Does it Work?
Do Not Download Anything Random
This is another trick used by criminals online, their goal is to trick you into downloading something that has malicious code, malware that can possibly do a lot of damage. These malwares are often disguised as some app, game which is popular and is also paid for. They advertise it as “Free” so that everyone downloads it.
There are some red flags to look out for like see if the size is matching to the original version of the app, if not, do not download it. Lookout for trusted websites to download stuff like this.
Read: Dark Patterns on Websites: All You Need to Know
Do Transactions Online via Safe Sites Only
When you do a transaction online, it requires your card details or bank account details which is the most wanted thing in the cybercriminal community. You should only provide such important information to sites that are secure, trusted, and well encrypted. One of the very easy ways to identify the trusted websites is that they are secured by HTTPS: (S stands for secure) instead of http: and have a padlock symbol next to the address bar. Just make sure to visit websites secured by HTTPS: to browse the internet safely.
Do Not Fall for the Honey Nest
Listen everyone, life on the internet is very weird, there is all that glamour and beauty to it. A lot of times people on the internet are not who they claim to be. They might not be even real. This is a very big problem. People go on the internet, get hooked up to a stranger, share a lot of compromising details about themselves and then they pay the price for their whole life.
Just a very friendly tip, no matter what do not share your compromising photos or any personal detail that can be used against you. People on the internet seem nice but there are a lot of bad people out there and you do not want to be around them. If you like someone on the internet, try meeting them in real life only in a safe location. Get to know them then proceed with the next steps.
Some Other Tips
- If you use a PC to browse the internet, use Windows Defender for regular scans and keep it updated too.
- Do not use public Wi-Fi for transactions.
- Don’t click on random links that ask for surveys or other stuff.
- Web cameras are not that hard to hack so if you use a camera on a laptop, PC, make sure that when you are not using it, it is closed, and your system is shut down.
These were some of the tips that you would want to follow to browse the internet safely. Follow these tips and share with your friends and other people too.
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