As revolutionary as it may be, the internet is also a pretty dangerous place if you’re unsure how to go about protecting your sensitive personal information like passwords, personal document scans, addresses, and such. Once it gets out there, it’s nearly impossible to contain it ever again, so preventative measures are your best friend. Today, we’re going to reveal some things you can do to stay safe online and not let the bad guys get their hands on what’s none of their business.
- Don’t use the same passwords everywhere you go
If an unauthorized individual can access your other accounts simply by using the same login credentials, you’re in deep trouble. If one of the websites gets compromised, suddenly, all your other accounts are in danger too. Therefore, make sure that every account you have requires a different one to log in.
The next step is to ensure your passwords are strong and robust, and not as easy to guess, so make sure they’re longer than 8 characters and that they include numbers and special characters. By using a password manager, you won’t have to store them in your head, so you can freely make them as diverse as possible.
- Use browser security plugins
Always check the website you’re planning to order something from. Some of them are fraudulent, meaning they’re after your money, or even worse – your personal identity. For example, some of them will require you to submit a document scan (like a passport or an ID card) for ‘security purposes’.
The problem with this is that if you have a reason to suspect they aren’t on justified grounds when doing this, this may very well be so. The solution is to use browser security plugins like WOT that will tell you whether a website can be trusted. By using free Dark Web monitoring tools, you can also check that your personal information isn’t already being sold online, allowing you to keep your peace of mind.
- Don’t fall prey to phishing attacks
Phishing is a type of cyber attack designed to trick you into submitting your personal details or login credentials by falsely representing a login page. In reality, the login page you’ve landed on doesn’t belong to a legitimate website, even though it appears to be exactly alike in the visual sense.
So what can you do? In practice, make sure not to click on suspicious-looking links (especially those you’ve received via email); instead, enter them into your browser manually. You can also use a browser extension that will warn you of any suspicious-looking ones.
- Avoid using public Wi-Fi
By accessing your user accounts through a public network, you open yourself up to having your personal information intercepted by a third party. Visiting regular websites that don’t require you to enter your login credentials is fine, however.
Alternatively, you could also use a VPN that encrypts all the data transferred through the network, making it harder for hackers to get their hands on
These are some of the essential cybersecurity practices you need to employ when shopping online. By constantly educating yourself about new digital threats and remaining vigilant, you won’t be an easy target for cybercriminals and would-be hackers, so they’ll be forced to try their luck elsewhere.