According to a 2019 study by Deloitte, US households have an average of 11 devices connected to the Internet. This includes computers and smartphones and toys, baby monitors, and home security systems.
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While digital devices can keep us safe, connect us to loved ones, and make our lives easier, they also offer new ways for criminals to steal personal information. A security breach could lead to identity theft, stolen savings, or even a break-in – so protecting your digital life is extremely important.
Get started by following these six online safety tips for surfing the Internet without any concerns:
Create Secure Usernames And Passwords
Make sure your username and password are unique for each account. Use uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters for increased security.
It’s always best to remember your passwords, but we know it can be not easy. While it can be tempting to keep a list of your passwords on your phone, it’s safer to keep your list in a safe place.
Find Out About Online Scams
Knowledge can be one of your most potent weapons for fighting cybercrime. If you educate yourself about the different types of cyberattacks, you will likely evade the hackers’ traps successfully. Here are some you should know:
Hackers send emails that often impersonate a legitimate company to obtain usernames, passwords, credit card information, and more. These emails usually try to trick you into opening an attachment, clicking a button, or entering your information into a form.
Hackers try to collect your personal information by redirecting traffic from a legitimate website to a similar-looking website that they control.
Vishing And Smishing
Vishing and smishing are variants of phishing attacks done through your phone. A hacker uses the Internet to call you and impersonate an honest company in your caller ID in a vishing attack. When this cyber-criminal has you on the phone, he will ask you for your personal information. Similarly, smishing attacks impersonate an official company to obtain your personal information via text messages.
Be Careful What You Post On Social Media
Be careful not to reveal too much on social media. Cybercriminals can use your personal information to reconstruct passwords and answer security questions. Also, if you’re going on vacation, don’t post your photos until you get back. Sharing plans in advance or pictures during the triplets, everyone knows you’re out of town, and your house is empty – making you a prime robbery target.
Protect Your Router
Your router is the gateway between the Internet and your devices. If it’s not secure, hackers can break into your system and gain access to all your connected devices – from your smartphone to your fridge. To protect your router:
Give the router a new name and password. The default name can help hackers figure out the model and how to break in.
Disable the Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) PIN feature. With WPS, you can quickly connect devices to your network with the push of a button or with a quick PIN entry. While the button on your router is secure, a brute-force attack can quickly guess number combinations until hackers figure out your PIN.
Add additional security measures like Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 or 3 (WPA2, WPA3) encryption solutions or a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to further protect your router.
Shop Online With A Credit Card
When making an online purchase, you should pay with a credit card and not a debit card. You can reverse invalid charges and get a new card with a credit card. If your debit card details are stolen, the cybercriminal has direct access to your bank account.
The number one tip for staying safe online is to be vigilant. Keep your eyes peeled for things that don’t look right. Check for spelling mistakes, double-check website URLs, and look for pixelated or distorted logos. Also, ask yourself questions like “Why does this company need this information?” or “Would I normally get an email for something like this?”