Statistics may seem daunting, but luckily you do not have to be a computer assistant to stay safe online. In fact, with a little preparation and the right tools, even the greatest technophobia can learn to surf the Internet without putting themselves at risk.
To celebrate the launch of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we’ve put together our top ten tips to help you surf the web more securely and stay safe online.
Table of Contents
1. Create lengthy passwords
FACT: Last year, about 4% of people used the password “123456” and made it the most common password (the worst) of 2016.
Setting up a strong password is one of the simplest and most effective measures to prevent the use of strong passwords (an attack where criminals use automated tools to systematically check all possible name combinations, user, and password). The more secure the password, the harder it will be for hackers to infect your system with malware and/or steal your personal information and financial information.
Given the large number of accounts and passwords an average person has, it’s tempting to use simple passwords to use by default to avoid the hassle of remembering them. Resist the temptation and use a password manager. LastPass, Dashlane and Sticky Password are reliable and intuitive products that allow you to securely store all your passwords without having to remember complex combinations of characters.
One tip: If you’re looking for a less commercial option, the Emsisoft Lab team is a big fan of KeePass, an open-source password manager that’s updated on a regular basis.
Here are some guidelines to help you create a bullet-proof password:
Length: Your passwords must be at least 12 characters long.
Complexity: contains a combination of numbers, special characters and uppercase and lowercase letters.
Coincidence: Do not use words in the dictionary.
Unique: Do not use the same password on different websites.
2. Keep the software up to date
FACT: 50% of users need more than 45 days to install software security updates.
Software security is a constant struggle. When vulnerabilities occur and vulnerabilities are exploited, developers provide patches to update their software and better protect users. Delaying these updates will make your device more vulnerable to attacks.
In this context, it is important that you maintain your operating system, web browser, anti-virus program, and other updated software to reduce the risk of a security breach. Enable automatic updates in your software configuration for peace of mind.
3. Use reputable antivirus software
Fact: There are more than 600 million malicious programs targeting Windows users.
Antivirus software also plays a key role in Internet security. A strong, legitimate IT security solution can prevent malware from entering your computer and solving problems that might be caused by system defense. Do not forget to enable automatic updates and make sure your antivirus settings adapt to your browsing needs and habits. Get your free 30-day trial of Emsisoft Anti-Malware here.
4.Keep Your Email Spam Free
FACT: 30% of phishing emails are open.
One of the most common forms of malware distribution is your email. Hackers create ingenious e-mails, which usually contain an attractive sales offer or official message from a large institution (such as a bank, government, school, etc.). Alternatively, you can send an e-mail to a friend or colleague whose computer has been compromised. These emails contain attractive links and/or attachments that, when clicked, trigger malware downloads or lead to websites attempting to steal your personal information.
The key point here is to be careful when checking your emails. Be wary of unsolicited offers, check URLs and file extensions before clicking on an item, and be careful when entering information on new websites. Remember, if the email seems too good to be true, it probably is!
5. Do not forget your mobile device
FACT: The number of malware samples discovered on Android has doubled between 2015 and 2016, reaching more than 4 million.
With 50% of the world’s population using a smartphone, it’s not surprising that hackers increasingly focus on mobile devices. Android devices are by far the most vulnerable. Malware for iOS, Windows Mobile, and other operating systems have proven less profitable. If you’re an Android user, you can protect yourself online with the same browsing habits that you use on your computer. You can also explore an anti-malware solution such as Emsisoft Mobile Security for additional protection.
6. Uses two-factor authentication
FACT: 80% of the data breaches could be eliminated with 2FA.
Take your e-security to the next level as much as you choose for two-factor authentication (2FA).
What is 2FA?
Well, many important websites with important financial or personal information (eg Gmail, Amazon, PayPal and banking websites) provide an additional level of security, as you must confirm your identity before you can log in. Some websites will send you a message with a verification code, while others may provide you with an authentication device that will be used with your usual credentials. This may seem like a useless problem, but 2FA is a very effective way to avoid fraudulent connections.
While text messaging is a common 2FA method, SMS is prone to delusion, and we strongly recommend looking for an alternative if possible. There are many examples of hackers using social engineering to force phone companies to send a new SIM card and redirect the victim’s access code to the new number.
7. Be careful with public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi is a great way to stay away from home, but it also carries significant security risks. For example, man-in-the-middle attacks (a situation where criminals intercept information sent between their computer and a website) are incredibly common on the public Wi-Fi network and can allow hackers to access their Internet Emails, private documents, and passwords. and more.
If you use a public Wi-Fi connection, assume someone is watching. Simply pass in data that you would not bother if you stole it, and never enter your login information or bank information when connected to a public Wi-Fi network. If you need to use public Wi-Fi to send important information, use a virtual private network (VPN) to create a more secure connection.
8. Browse with an encrypted connection
FACT: More than 50% of the site is now encrypted (we approved it in mid-January 2017).
Whether you review your social media feed or transfer money, you should always use an encrypted connection when sending sensitive information. The easiest way to do this is to look in the address bar and make sure the website address is using “https” (Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol) instead of “old” normal HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). The “s”, which can also be padlocked on most browsers, indicates a secure connection that makes it difficult for thieves to steal your data. Never enter personal information on an HTTP website.
Note, however, that HTTPS is not perfect, and it is always important to ensure that incoming traffic sent over a “secure” connection does not change. For example, recent research has shown that some antivirus companies spy on HTTPS traffic to protect their users, but a byproduct of this approach is that their information is compromised by theft. Rest assured that Emsisoft is not involved in this practice!
FACT: The use of Adblock increased by 30% in 2016.
A good Adblocker can greatly improve your online experience. It not only speeds up page loading and removes annoying ads from your online life, but also makes surfing the Internet safer and more confidential by eliminating the risk of malicious advertising (adware) and preventing server advertising from controlling your navigation. Habits
There are competing options for the title of Best Ad Blocker, but the Emsisoft lab recommends uBlock Source, which is open source and free and compatible with most modern browsers.
10. Adjust the property of privacy
In this time of over-buy, the default settings of many websites (especially social networking platforms) have a deeper meaning and can make your privacy clearer than you would expect. Avoid this by considering your privacy, creating custom profiles that meet your needs, and reducing the risk of data breaches by entering only the essential information that the service needs to work.
Browser extensions such as Ghostery and Privacy Badger offer more privacy because third-party advertisers cannot track your movements on the web without your permission. This increases your privacy and protects your personal information.
Prudent, but self-confident
Security risks on the Internet must be respected and not feared. According to Internet security tips, this article will be ready to protect against cyber criminals lurking in the dark corners of the Internet.
Have we lost any advice that you believe other readers should know? Let us know in the comments and additions to the list.
Have a day like (internet proof!).
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