Some people might hear or read the word “cybersecurity” and conjure up images of difficult protocols and tasks which will keep them anonymized while they access resources on the web. While there are advanced elements of cybersecurity you can explore, the reality is that a lot of simple cybersecurity tips are mostly common sense.
You’ll likely hear all kinds of breaking news announcements about corporate cyberattacks and data breaches fairly frequently. They also tend to mention that these companies need to cybersecurity legal teams and whitehat online security firms, like Goodwin and TEHTRIS, to pick up the pieces. When it comes to your own personal safety online, however, you will do just fine by following some common guidelines.
Good cybersecurity guidelines are designed so that you have an idea of how to act and react to different elements on the internet, be they good or bad. Simple things like learning to spot phishing scams and only giving out your details to trusted sources do wonders for your online privacy as well as ensuring that you do not become a victim of fraud.
Below we’re going to list some helpful cybersecurity tips you can utilise in order to improve your privacy online.
Only Give Trusted Websites Your Information
Most people know that they shouldn’t be giving out their personal details to just anyone, however, you may be surprised to know that millions of people have their sensitive information trade all across the web every day. Some third parties will actually pay quite a pretty penny for simple pieces of your data, such as your name, phone number, email address, and physical address. Advertisers and spammers alike can use this information to drive ad revenue and sales.
In worse scenarios, things like credit card information and bank details can be distributed to the highest bidder if the wrong people get a hold of that data. Thankfully though, the simplest solution works the best.
To avoid your data ending up in the wrong hands, only submit your data to trusted sources and reputable organisations. These will be bound by strict privacy laws if you live in a country that takes online privacy seriously.
Learn to Spot a Phishing Email & Online Scams
One of the easiest ways to con users, something that has been around since the commercialisation of the internet, is through misdirection and cunning. Phishing emails, malicious webpages, and more, try their best to look legitimate to fool users into revealing sensitive information like bank account logins and credit card information. These scams collectively cost millions upon millions of dollars every year, but they have a very good counter which internet surfers can take advantage of.
This counteraction, of course, is knowledge. By learning to look for the clues of a phishing email or fake webpage, you’ll soon see that most of their attempts are easily foiled. An email or webpage is likely a scam if it:
- Comes from an unusual looking email address
- Comes from an unusual looking domain or URL
- Asks for very personal or restricted information (Your password, financial details, etc.)
- Is littered with spelling mistakes and unusual visual elements
- Reads in broken or unusual English
The above are just some of the more common signs that an email or webpage is a phishing scam; some scams can look almost completely legitimate.
If you are ever in doubt about authenticity, the best course of action is to get in touch with your genuine service or business that you think may be being imitated – they will be able to tell you whether the requests for your information were genuine or not.
Consider the Use of Security & Anonymous Browsing Software
If you’re looking to find a more technical solution to increasing your privacy and security on the web, there are many different tools out there for you to choose from. Don’t be put off by having to learn to utilise these different software packages, the vast majority of them are actually very easy to use.
Most people who use a computer on a regular basis will know what a firewall is – it’s a piece of software which dictates what information is allowed to pass between the internet and your PC. It is recommended that everyone have a firewall running as it can prevent your computer becoming infected with malicious software like Trojans and Malware.
These sometimes destructive files can not only steal personal information but they can even take control of some of the actions of your computer and cause damage. Ensure you are running up-to-date antivirus software which includes a firewall.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
VPNs may sound complex at first but really all that happens with a VPN is that your requests from the web are made through a private and secure network so no one can see your internet activity. This makes it more difficult for attackers to look at what you’re doing and thus your information is less likely to be stolen.
There are many free options out there when it comes to VPNs and all they usually require is for you to activate them every time you’re going to browse the internet, the software will handle the rest.
Search More Securely Today
By keeping in mind all of the above; you will be well on your way to browsing the web without the fear of your data or personal information falling into the wrong hands. There are many more advanced ways you can further increase your cybersecurity but this is a solid foundation to start from.