With how much time we spend on the web, it is important to do so safely and securely. With phishing attacks and identity schemes getting more and more sophisticated all the time, we also need to keep our defenses up to date. Here are out top tips for staying safe while online.
Be Careful Where You Click
Visiting some sites is enough to install tracking cookies. These cookies collect your data, aggregate it, and then sell it to advertisers or politicians. While this information will supposedly not include your name, it can include compromising information such as if you looking for a certain type of clinic and your demographic information.
This is why you should really be careful where you click. Only visit the safest sites to make sure you can keep your identity safe online. This rule goes for all types of sites, and in fact, you may need to figure this out for each type of site you visit, whether it is where you get your news, check the weather, or find tonight’s recipes. You can start by checking out what the experts are saying.
For instance, the team at SBO has spent hours researching over 275 online sports betting sites. They then recommend the best ones based on safety and security, banking options, bonuses, and more. You can find the best ones in whatever country you are signing in from. They will even show you how to sign up at these online bookies, so you will have nothing to worry about.
Another place to be careful where you click is in emails. Some of them can seem surprisingly official and even claim to be the government. Before opening and clicking on any links in emails, make sure to confirm the sending address. The domain name is harder to fake. If you are not sure, do a quick web query to see if it is an official address or a scam.
Know What to Look for in a Virtual Private Network
Virtual private networks, or VPNs, are programs that you can install and use to redirect your internet connection to another connection. Many people use them in order to access media content that is only available in another country, for example. But many people also use them to keep their identity safe online, but only certain VPNs will be useful in that regard.
The best ones for identity protection will include some type of encryption. Encryption is basically the scrambling of data so that it cannot be seen, even by the virtual private network. This means that your identity while surfing the web with the right VPN will be secured.
One example of a great VPN with encryption is Nord. They offer end-to-end encryption to keep your identity anonymous. They also include malware protection to keep you safe from viruses, and an encrypted cloud where you can store your files. Nord has been reviewed by top publications such as The Huffington Post, Wired, and Forbes.
Such top virtual private networks come with a price. You can find others that are free, but they are not likely to include encryption in their free version. They are even less likely to include things such as malware protection.
Keep Viruses Out of Your Hardware
You may be surprised at the number of places where viruses can attach themselves. Most of the time we think of them as being on our computers. That is a main site of vulnerability, so we should install firewalls and keep them up to date with regular patches.
What fewer people know is that viruses can also attack your USB or flash drives. The team at PC Tablet has a great guide for keeping your flash drive safe from viruses. Some of the tips include changing the security settings on your flash drive to “read-only,” and using the free tool USB immunizer.
Whichever method you use, it is important to know that even these relatively small and simple pieces of hardware are vulnerable to infection from viruses. Once in your flash drive, they can infect your computer, damage your files, or send your files to an external source. All of this is potentially threatening to your identity.