Internet can sometimes be a confusing and intimidating platform. Every other day, we get news of another website being hacked, information being stolen and users system being compromised. While the benefits of internet are many, the risks involved can be monumental too. However, if you are armed with the knowledge, there are effective and easy ways of ensuring the security of your personal information and overall system. As of February 2015, industries (26.2%) are the top targets of hackers but they are followed by number of attacks on single individuals (13.6%) and organizations (11.9%) respectively.
Obtaining user names are easier that you think. This is reason enough that many businesses across the globe are investing in strong security systems to monitor their accounts and databases and curb any threat before it gains access. Creating strong password and avoiding phishing can somehow saves your personal identity of internet but users has to be think twice during surfing on net whether they are inviting hackers or not. There had been a 91% increase in targeted cyber attacks in 2013 and the disaster continues. The risks are no less for individual users. Here are some tips to stay safe online .
- Go for secure transaction
Popular browsers like Google Chrome and important websites provide an opportunity to force HTTPS connections whenever available. The extra (S) actually means an added level of encryption, making it difficult for miscreants to access you information. The padlock on the URL bar will generally be green with an HTTPS connection. When making transactions from eCommerce sites, it is also important to check out for security certificates / SSL certificates because it is the reason why we provide our details online with trust. Websites with security certificates are better encrypted than websites without them and thus place you in a less vulnerable position. SSL Certificates generally builds your trust during online transaction to enter debit/credit card details.
- Password safety
According to Symantec report in 2013 more than 552 million identities were exposed through password breaches. You must have already heard myriad times about the importance of strong passwords. The best passwords are a combination of letters, numbers and special characters and shouldn’t mean something that can be easily guessed. If you are using your birthday as your password than be ready to get stolen from. These have also been the reasons of photo/video leakage of several Hollywood celebs. Also, understand that the most secure websites use a two factor authentication. These are two sets of passwords that make the combination even harder to guess. Some websites also offer an OTP (one time password) over the normal password to complete a transaction. This also falls in the realm of a two factor authentication. As per latest SplashData report below are the top 10 most used passwords during 2014 year. Just take a look.
- Avoid online scams and phishing
There are several ways in which cyber criminals try to get access to your personal information and system. One of the most popular means is phishing mails. Reports suggest that 1 of every 392 emails will have a malicious purpose. These mails are made to look officials and in most cases will try to attract your attention with huge discounts, lottery wins, etc. However, the end purpose is to lure you into a fake website that will ask for your personal information to avail the offer. Many users fall prey to such mails. It will be best to avoid responding to mails that seem suspicious and out-of-the-blue. To avoid cyber security threats some companies hire security professionals to secure their online resources from hackers.
- Don’t miss regular updates
Updating your browser version, antivirus definitions, software, smart phone UI, or other plugins has huge implications of security. Hackers are always changing their games and updating themselves with new technology. These updates are meant to fight back with updated firewalls and security tools such that your personal information doesn’t get breached into.
- Access accounts from secure locations
In the last 12 months, more than 38% of mobile/smart phone users have been exposed to cybercrime. Accessing free Wi-Fi from a coffee shop or a bus stop can seem to be a wonderful opportunity. However, this is also the best chance that a hacker can exploit. Information passed through unsecured servers is more likely to be stolen. When on a free Wi-Fi zone, try never to make an important transaction or anything that would require giving in passwords and personal information.
- Set privacy settings high
Always give the highest important to your privacy. Set it as high as possible and don’t let other create fake accounts using your name. It is also advisable to stop providing personal information over social media.
Internet is the most incredible invention of man but needs to be used carefully to get the best out of it.