The internet can be a great place to meet new people, find information, do your shopping and so much more. However, it’s also full of dangers that can harm you or your computer if you’re not careful. You’ll want to take steps to protect yourself from these dangers—and making sure that your computer is secure is one of the most important ways to do so. Here are some tips for staying safe online;
Make Sure Your Antivirus Software is Up To Date
It is crucial to have antivirus software on your computer. Even if you have a good antivirus software installed, it’s important to make sure that it has the latest updates. It’s also important to keep tabs on when an update is available for your particular antivirus software and install those updates as soon as possible.
There are many different types of malware and viruses out there, so updating your antivirus software regularly is a must!
In addition to keeping current with security updates, you should also make sure that you run a full scan every single day. If you don’t want this process taking up too much time or resources on your computer (and who does?) consider scheduling automatic scans at night or when no one else is using the machine.
Create Secure Passwords
One of the best ways to stay safe online is by creating unique, secure passwords. The most important thing to remember here is to avoid having the same password for every account and website.
You can avoid this by creating a combination of letters, numbers and special characters, as well as avoiding words that are in the dictionary, you can get as creative as you like here.
Try not to use information about your family or friends, such as their names and birthdays. It’s also a good idea not to use any passwords that are easy to guess (like your name or address).
Also, ensure you keep your passwords safe somewhere so that if you forget any of them, you can still access them.
Check For a Padlock Symbol When Buying Online
You can tell if a website is secure by looking for a padlock symbol or other security sign in the URL. Sometimes, an unsecured website will have no indication that it is safe to enter your personal information, so it’s best to be on high alert.
If you are ever unsure whether a website is secure, do not enter any passwords or personal information on the site until you have verified that it is safe to do so.
Read Websites’ Privacy Policies
Privacy policies are the legal agreements that websites, apps and other services use to spell out how they collect, store and use personal information. You should read privacy policies before giving a website access to your email address or other personal information.
- What kinds of information they collect (such as name, email address) and why they need it;
- How they store and use your data (including whether it’s shared with third parties);
- How long they keep your data for
- How you can opt-out of their data collection
While privacy policies can be confusing and hard to understand, you should still read them. And if you don’t want certain information collected or shared with third parties, make sure you opt out when given the chance.
Privacy policies may also include a section about how the site will use your data. This is especially important if you’re giving a website access to your email address or other personal information, so always be cautious when agreeing to cookies.
Don’t Open Suspicious Email Attachments
Email attachments are a common way for cybercriminals to spread viruses, malware, and phishing scams. They may also contain spam.
If you get an email with an attachment from someone you don’t know and aren’t expecting it, don’t open it! Regardless of how legitimate-looking it may appear, if you don’t recognize the sender or if you weren’t expecting anything in the first place (e.g., you’re not expecting an invoice), it’s safer to not open the attachment at all.
Use a Firewall Program and Set its Security Level to “High”
Firewall programs are designed to monitor and control the flow of information between your computer and other computers. They can also help prevent unauthorized access to your computer.
A firewall can block unwanted connections from the internet, such as those that may be generated by viruses or hackers.
They can be set to high, medium, or low security settings so that you have total control over what gets through the firewall when it’s activated. You will need a good version of antivirus software installed on your PC if you want all these benefits and more.
To set up a new firewall:
- Go into Control Panel (in Windows 7), then select System and Security > Action Center > Change Action Center Settings > Turn On Windows Firewall – Allow Programs To Communicate Through The Windows Firewall (recommended).
This will open all ports needed for communication between software applications running on one machine and another connected device such as printers or webcams over TCP/IP networks like Ethernet cables; however, if you’re not sure whether there are any unwanted programs using these ports then feel free to disable them instead!
If you’re concerned about your safety when using the internet, it’s important to remember that there are many benefits. With the right precautions and protection in place, you can enjoy all that the internet has to offer while keeping yourself out of harm’s way.
It’s also really important to have a strong and secure internet connection when you are online. Compare broadband plans to find one that suits your needs best here.
We hope these tips will help you to stay safe and have fun when using the internet. Remember that it’s never too late to learn more about cyber security, so that you can stay safe while you have fun surfing online.