Most people probably do not bother to stop and think about potential dangers that one might encounter on the internet. With so many online users, interested parties have become more active than ever, and they are trying to take advantage of less suspicious individuals.
Even if you are aware of potential threats, it is still better to take some extra precautions for peace of mind. And if you are one of those who have not bothered to consider dangers online in the first place, well, you need to make some adjustments to your approach.
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Top 6 Precautions to Take While Surfing Online
This article will give you some great pointers on how to be more aware when spending time online and how you should deal with suspicious things.
1. Avoid Public Wi-Fi
Sometimes, you cannot help but join public Wi-Fi because you need the internet. However, just because a Wi-Fi network is available, it does not mean that it is safe, especially when it comes to public locations.
Bars, hotels, libraries, and other public establishments that offer Wi-Fi for free or a symbolic fee usually do not bother implementing the necessary security protocols. As such, the unsuspecting users connect the network and become targets of hackers.
If you have no other choice but to use public Wi-Fi, make sure to connect through a VPN so that you have a solid layer of security.
2. Ignore Shady Messages
You must have received some random messages on Skype, Discord, social media, emails, and other communication channels over the years. Even if a message is from someone you know or one of your old contacts, it is better to ignore it so long as the message contents are suspicious.
Some messages might ask you to click on a link or carry out another click-to-action because there is something in it for you, like a reward. Do not fall for these traps and simply ignore messages that are even a tiny bit dubious.
3. Use AdBlocker Extensions
Installing too many browser extensions is a hindrance to the overall internet browsing experience. However, having a few extensions should not cause too many problems.
Ad blockers are some of the best extensions you can get right now. Some extensions block general ads, whereas others are meant for specific platforms, such as Twitch TV or YouTube. But how do they help with internet safety?
Well, some online sites implement aggressive ad policies with the intent to monetize more visitors. Some ads are pop-ups or annoying banners that you cannot close. If you want to continue checking the website, you need to click on the ad to proceed.
Some ads might redirect you to dangerous landing pages that are crawling with malware and other threats. Ending in such a website might infect your device so much that a reliable antivirus might not be enough.
4. Avoid Oversharing Personal Details
You might spend time talking to strangers online. If you do, do not get in the habit of oversharing personal details. It is impossible to tell what the person on the other side is like and what they actually want from you. In other words, just because someone is friendly, it does not mean that they have no alternative motive.
Telling strangers your birthday, address, or even sharing personal photos might backfire in ways you could not imagine. In some cases, you might become a victim of identity theft.
5. Stick to Difficult Passwords
A proper password policy is not something that many people bother with, especially when they have multiple online profiles. It is too difficult to keep track of every password if you want to use different combinations. Moreover, if the passwords are too complicated, memorizing them becomes an even bigger chore.
Having said that, it is still important to be smart about your passwords. If you stick to the same login details for every website and service, imagine what will happen if the information gets exposed on one of them.
If you find it difficult to come up with passwords, use a generator online. As for memorizing and storing the details, there are password managers that simplify the process. For example, you can get a password manager on your smartphone and use it whenever you need login details.
6. Clean System Junk and Use Antivirus Software
Too much system junk accumulation slows the overall system performance, meaning that a device is slower to react to potential threats despite having antivirus software. It is recommended to get a cleanup utility tool and regularly remove temporary system clutter.
For example, if you have a MacBook, you can check this link for some of the best cleanup software. You might also notice that a few tools come with an antivirus scanning feature, meaning that you will not have to bother with installing a separate app to scan the computer.