Digital theft and cybercrime have been increasing exponentially. Thus, it became a concern to stay safe online for the individuals. The stealers and hackers have reached the level where just by getting your minor details, they can harm you a lot digitally by entering in your smartphones or tablets.
You might be aware of one of the famous quotes, ‘Prevention is better than Cure’. Similarly, your precautions and online safety measures are way better than recovering yourself and your identity after a cybercrime or theft.
Since everything is shifting digitally and functioning through the internet, it has become comparatively effortless for hackers to acquire your information by offering you some valuable things. Through unsecured Wi-Fi, websites, surveys/forms, or DMs; the hackers can easily access your personal, professional, or financial details.
In order to tackle the steps of cyber hackers and stay safe online, you should be a step ahead of them. Now the question is, how can you be a step ahead of them? Most notably, you need to be aware of the traps they can expect you to fall in. It can be through a variety of ways, which often seem genuine to the individuals.
Following are some of the measures you must take to stay safe online and be in a safe position from the various ways of online theft. Comprehend each of the mentioned points in detail, and make yourself safe from cybercrime.
List of 10 Ways To Stay Safe Online From Cyber Crimes
1) IGNORE MAIL FROM STRANGERS
A lot of times, a drive-by download may disguise itself as a standard system update, or an innocuous ‘yes/no’ query. Thus, even the most cyber-savvy among us can be fooled. Also, drive-by downloads can install malware on your hard drive, without even asking for your agreement to download it.
In case you received a phishing email with malware attached, it will be better if you do not click on the links or attachments given by them. These things can cause serious harm to your home network. Thus, from a safety point of view, you should not open emails from unknown addresses.
2) SETTING COMPLICATED PASSWORDS
Setting complicated passwords in your devices and various other presences is one the easiest way to stay safe online. Using a strong password is one of the ways to shield yourself from online identity theft.
Nowadays passwords like someone’s name, birthdays, or sequential numbers are not a big deal to crack for the online robbers. Thus, you should avoid using uncomplicated passwords. Especially, you should not set only the names, phone numbers, email addresses, or birthdays of yourself or your friends/family members. The phishers get access to these details very easily. Then, with the details, they can crack your passwords as well.
One of the most common ways to set a strong password to stay safe online is using a mixture of alphabets, numbers, and special characters. Moreover, the longer your password will be, the more it will be safe from cyber theft. You can also include an abbreviated sentence or a passphrase in your password.
You may also refer to a password manager to generate unique passwords for each of your social media presence. If you face issues in remembering your password, you may take the help of the password management app to generate and store your passwords.
Additionally, changing the passwords several times a year will provide you extra security from online theft.
3) USING TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION
The two-factor authentication asks you to verify your identity through OTPs or other forms after you logged in by entering your username and password. Along with the strong passwords, this is also one of the best stays safe online measures you should be aware of.
If you activate the two-factor authentication on your device, then you may be asked to enter the security code sent on your mobile or email. They can also ask you some security questions linked to you.
Usually, the two-factor authentication takes an extra couple of seconds to log in by verifying your account, but it is worth having on your device to assure safety.
4) AVOIDING STRANGE-LOOKING LINKS
Clicking links from someone you know are often the source of the spread of viruses and other forms of malware on your device. If someone from your friend, family, relatives, colleagues, etc sends you a link that seems strange to you, then you should not click on it. Rather, you should contact and ask them, whether they have sent this link intentionally or for some purpose. If their answer is no, better not to touch that link.
Moreover, if you find a suspicious link, and you don’t want to ask or wait for the sender’s response, you may self-verify it as well. For this, you need to copy the link address and paste it into a reputed link checker. While doing this, stay cautious that you have to copy the link, without clicking it.
5) ENSURING THE DEVICES ARE UP TO DATE
Web browsers, security software, and devices play a crucial role in ensuring your digital safety. Thus, it is your responsibility to keep all these up-to-date by updating them regularly. If you are a busy person or usually forget to update the software, browser, and device on time, then it will be better to turn on the automatic updates. With this, it will update it automatically without interrupting you.
These updates play a vital role to let you stay safe online. The updates do the essential fixes for any security voids that exist in the current version of your device or software.
6) AVOID USING UNSECURED PUBLIC WI-FI
In order to download some big files, or to save your mobile data, you may try to connect your device to the Wi-Fi networks available in your surroundings. But sometimes, it can become a threat and not let you stay safe online.
There will be no issues if you pair it with secured public Wi-Fi. But if possible, try to avoid connecting your device with the unsecured public Wi-Fi networks. Even if you do not have an alternative other than using these networks, then stay conservative with your information. Also, avoid entering your crucial information like your Social Security number, or information related to your cards and finances, on any websites.
You may also use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), for the better security of your network when you are outside your home. The VPN encrypts the data you send or receive and makes it difficult for thieves to intercept.
7) REGULAR DATA BACKUP
In case you become a victim of malware, like ransomware, then it will be too difficult for you to back up your data unless you have already backed up data.
Backing up the data makes certain kinds of security breaches less problematic. If you have backed up your data a week ago, then it will be a challenging task for the hacker. If a hacker encrypts your data and demands a ransom to unencrypt it, then it will be problematic for them to do so with your backed data.
8) BE CAUTIOUS WITH FINANCIAL INFORMATION
Financial information is one of the most crucial details you share with someone. Nowadays, it has even become risky to share information like credit/debit/pan card details with the people you know.
While purchasing something online or making a transaction, make sure that the website on which you are making a deal is safe and encrypted. For this, ensure the URL of that website begins with ‘HTTPS://’ before its name. The presence of ‘s’ after HTTPS is critical because it indicates that your connection to that website is encrypted. If you only see ‘HTTP://’ present on the website, do not enter any financial or personal information on that website.
Moreover, you should be careful if you save your financial information on the website you buy from. Even if you are their regular customer, it will be better for you to avoid storing your financial details there. Keeping the information on the sites makes it easier for the hacker to access the data whenever that company’s website or network suffers a data breach.
9) EDUCATE THE SAME TO FAMILY MEMBERS
Educating the family too is one of the crucial steps in order to stay safe online. The above points to stay safe online are the ones that you can implement to ensure safety. But along with it, you must also educate your family members about the same.
Even if you take care of every single thing to stay safe online, but your family members are not implementing it, it will be formidable for you and your family. Make sure that every internet user in your home must be aware of all these precautions to stay away from digital theft. Even if you and the kids are using your network, it will be better to educate them about cyber safety.
10) AVOID SHARING PERSONAL DETAILS
Avoiding personal information is one of the easiest yet most impactful ways to stay safe online from various cybercrimes. You may believe that with a bit of your personal information, someone can’t do anything against you. But this little information is what the hackers need. You may not believe it, but even little details can be a reason for your damage from cybercrimes.
You should not share your identifying information like your address, full name, or financial details with the unknown websites or the strangers you meet online. You must also be careful while creating a username on websites. If possible, please try to avoid your real or full name there. Moreover, online surveys and forms have now become one of the easiest ways to gather details of an individual. There as well, you must be conscious about what you are filling.
You may sometimes feel challenged to stay safe online. But it is essential to keep you and your family safe. Visualise the situation when you walk in the street. Do you start interacting and sharing your personal and financial details with strangers? Do you share your credit/debit card or your home address with them? Your answer will surely be ‘no’. In the same way, you should treat online interactions as strangers. Share only those details which are genuinely required, and may not harm you in the future.
Cybercrimes are increasing as we are becoming more equipped with gadgets and technologies. Even after innumerable cases, it is still an underrated form of crime. The major cause behind these cases is the illiteracy of the individuals in terms of technology and their details.
A hacker may set a hard to overcome trap in order to gamble on your identity and details and use it on their own terms. Well, they can structure a genuine appearance trap for you, but it is your responsibility to keep yourself safe from making mistakes online. Precautions from your side can make you stay safe online and not involve a loss.
Through all the 10 listed points on the ways to stay safe online, you can ensure the safety of yourself, your family, and your loved ones. You just need to take care of some crucial points, which are already mentioned above. Moreover, educating others in your family about the same will ensure your safety everywhere.
Do like this post if you find these ways to stay safe online, be helpful and informative. Do comment your views on digital theft and cybercrimes, and share them with everyone you want to be aware of these online safety measures.