10 basic internet security tips

“I’ve never had a computer virus before!”, “It’s just a link, I click on it, what could be wrong” – many people use Internet services irresponsibly along statements like this. Here are some of the most helpful tips to keep things from happening.

Let’s start there, that if you use the Internet – it doesn’t matter what – you’re in danger. Don’t have illusions: scammers, hackers don’t pick! Of course, there is no question that you should be afraid of cybercriminals, but there are a few simple rules that you should definitely pay attention to. Unfortunately, it’s still not part of common practice, but using a strong password should be just as natural as not leaving the door of the apartment wide open when you leave home. In any case, the tips below will help you stay safe online.

Always maintain your equipment

This means that you install security updates, install a newer version of the software. Operating systems and programs are made by humans, so of course they can contain bugs – if such a bug is discovered, it will typically be fixed in a few days or a few weeks, but it’s only worth the effort of the developers if you install it, new, improved program versions

Use a safe device

Unless the situation requires you to do important things only on a computer, phone, or tablet that you trust. Of course, if you only need to find the address of a store, it is not a problem to do it in an internet café, but if possible, do not log in to your e-mail or Facebook on a foreign machine and do not do banking from not your phone! In short: only enter personal data on a trusted machine! And that even applies to the tools of close friends – you never know how much that person is dealing with security. Your computer or phone could easily be infected, you just don’t know about it.

Not only the machine, but also the Internet connection must be secure!

Online banking and the use of Facebook are not safe on public Wi-Fi; if you can’t wait to get home, use your phone’s own data connection for this short time.

Use an antivirus

Many people are of the opinion that there is nothing wrong with clicking links and not paying attention. What a mistake! In addition to the attention that can sometimes fade, scammers are constantly inventing newer and newer ways to scam users! Modern antivirus software is reliable and puts virtually no strain on computer resources; use them!

There’s no excuse for not having an antivirus on hand: Windows 10’s built-in solution, Windows Security, does the job perfectly and is just a click away!

Click, but only with common sense

You don’t necessarily have to click on a link in front of you! Only click on a link on a new page that is unfamiliar to you if you know for sure where the link takes you – a web link can help scammers in several ways: may take you to a phishing site, navigate to a virus website, or download a virus  file to your computer.

Links and attachments in an email are subject to an even stricter rule: unless you are sure you received it from an reliable source (for example, you just requested a password reset), never click. Enter the address into the browser yourself, manually. This is especially true in the case of any letter related to bank or bill payments. Even a file disguised as an image can be dangerous attachment!

Have all your passwords strong

Now many people are asking: what is “all your passwords, isn’t there just one ???” It is certainly not enough to use a strong-looking password, you can only be secure if you use a different password for each online account. When hackers get your login information, the first thing they try is to log in to popular providers like Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Google, etc. So the rules for passwords are:

    • use a strong password (12 characters, at least 2 lowercase letters, 2 uppercase letters, 2 numbers and 2 special characters)

For important services, at least one of the logins and password must always be unique.

In addition, if possible, it is advisable to turn on the two-stage identification.

In case of two-step authentication, a confirmation code will be sent to the phone in addition to the password, which must also be entered to log in. All major service providers support two-step authentication!

Don’t disturb your privacy!

Social services are now an integral part of life, which is not even a problem – but it is already the case for someone to share everything on Facebook without reason. Sure, it’s understandable when someone is very happy to finally be able to bake their bellies on the beach, but they don’t have to let the whole world know about it. If you want to share pictures with close friends, create a group for them – but never share them with all your friends when you’re not home. And don’t post such information in a public post! Exactly because you don’t even write on the door of the apartment: I’m not home for two weeks now.

Personal data is a treasure

As a general rule, personal data which are strictly necessary for the use of a service may always be provided – and even in this case, it is not necessary to enter real information. Obviously there are places (for example Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) where the real name, address, etc. should be entered (or approximate), but if this is only the expectation of the service provider, do not be afraid to register with a nickname. Be careful with your email address as well: to register for all sorts of small services, it’s a good idea to have a second email address that you only use for that purpose. And if you only need the password for one thing, it’s a good idea to have a disposable email address.

Personal information needs to be taken care of primarily because fraudsters do not hack the computer itself many times, but try to circumvent your mind. This is called social engineering. And the more personal things they know about you, the easier it is for them to do it!

Not everyone is your friend!

In the online world, it has become an important measure of how many friends you have on Facebook, how many followers you have on Instagram, and so on. In this race, many people tend to add everyone without thinking about whether they really know the person or not. It is a common form of fraud to infiltrate someone’s trust and then send them a virus link! If you’ve nominated a new acquaintance but aren’t sure if you know them, ask!

Be on the lookout for phishers

This topic alone is worth a complete series of tips. In short, we now can say that phishing is mostly aimed at obtaining login details or other personal information through fake websites or fake emails. The bank, PayPal and other service providers never ask for a password by e-mail; such a letter is immediately suspicious, you can trash it right away. But even a spelling mistake or a non-English wording can be suspicious. And, of course, any case where a service provider asks you for anything (payment, data reconciliation, etc.) with which we have no connection. If a letter is suspicious, never click on the link – instead enter the address of the service provider yourself and perform the requested action this way!

Disposable email address : There are a number of services that generate a single-use email address that is deleted immediately after use, it is great for retrieving verification codes.

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