Internet Security Month: Top 5 Tips to Safely Surf the Web. You’re taking a risk, browsing or buying on the Internet without being careful. The web may be the best communication and commerce tool our world has ever seen, but as the bad guys get more sophisticated, users like us need to develop safer browsing habits to protect yourself from hackers and cybercriminals. Think of it as a seatbelt. You wouldn’t drive without safeguards in place, so why would you browse without paying attention to your online security?
Most people know that one wrong click can lead to malicious software and viruses getting into your computer, which can lead to identifying theft, hardware failure, online purchase fraud, and more. But there are so many other ways a hacker can cause you problems. Educating yourself on online threats is the first and best line of defense. Today, we’re going to give you some basic tips that will help you browse online.
1. Delete Website Cookies and Secure Your Credentials
Most websites you visit store your browsing data in little bits of code called ‘cookies,’ which help make your next visit to the site faster. That’s useful for saving login credentials, but it also opens you up to privacy risk. Hackers can steal your cookies and gain access to your accounts, like in the Yahoo breach of 2015. If you delete your cookies after each use, you’ll be able to rest assured hackers won’t have access to them.
2. Install Ad Blockers To Browse Online Easier
Internet Ads are so notoriously annoying that an estimated 42% of global Internet users have installed some form of an online ad blocker. These programs can remove all advertisements on a page, and the blockers easily integrate into your favorite browser client. This also helps keep you more secure, because while some advertisements are legitimate, others are scams. The most malicious ads are clickbait, which are designed to coerce you into clicking on an unsafe link and downloading a virus automatically.
3. Get Rid Of All Your Browser Based Passwords
We’ve all gotten used to the convenience of having our browser store our passwords for everything. The downside is that this feature could be a potential security risk if your browser is compromised. Someone who knows what they’re doing can steal your login information to websites in a single click. It’s best to clear your browser of any saved passwords.
4. Build Strong Passwords To Protect Your Online Privacy
To make a strong password, it’s best to use longer passwords with upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid things like birthdays, phone numbers, kid and pet names, and favorite flavors of ice cream, as these can all be guessed by browsing your social media. And, while this may seem obvious, don’t have your password on a post-it at your workstation. If you do write them down, keep those notes safe and out of the open.
5. Two-Factor Authorization (2FA)
Two-factor authorization places another safeguard to protect your accounts in the event someone does gain access to your password. It’s like a final guard that blocks someone even if they’ve managed to open the door. There are several companies that offer Authenticators for 2FA:
By taking the necessary precautions, you’ll be able to make it harder for people to gain access to your login credentials to sensitive websites.