How To Stay Safe While Surfing the Internet

Unless you’ve already experienced what it’s like to find yourself in the middle of a security breach online, you might not even be familiar with the dangers of surfing the internet. You’d be surprised just how interested in YOU hackers really are. That doesn’t sound safe, right?

There’s only one thing you can do – start practicing daily safety measures to proactively reduce the risk of security breaches, data thefts, and similar cybersecurity attacks. If you’re reading this, then more than likely, you are already aware of the importance of protecting your passwords and login credentials with a password manager. Here are five more ways to stay safe while surfing the net.

#1 Stay away from public WiFi

As much as we’d all love to have internet access anywhere, this might not be the best thing for us from a cybersecurity perspective. Nowadays, you can find at least a couple of open WiFi networks wherever you go, whether at coffee shops, malls, or other public areas. And, because we are used to our own WiFi at home and the office being protected, we often assume that any network we can connect to is protected. And that is something we can’t afford to assume.

The problem with these internet connections is that they are usually open and unprotected. This means that anyone on the same network can access your device’s data (which, in the wrong hands, can serve as a back door to your social media sites and private info). As a general security awareness practice, you can’t go wrong by staying away from open public networks as much as you can.

#2 Use a VPN

Luckily, there is one way you can still take advantage of free WiFi available around town without putting your data and devices at risk. We’re talking about using a VPN with which you can hide your data online and surf the web privately. But what is a VPN - it’s a virtual private network. The way a VPN works is simple – when using a VPN, your data is routed through an encrypted funnel and thus hidden from any third parties who might be lurking around the network. It’s important to find a reliable VPN service.

#3 Start checking links

Here’s a simple habit that you can develop to reduce the risk of falling for phishing attacks: start checking links before you click on them. Phishing attacks have become commonplace these days. In a phishing attack, the attacker sends out fake links that lead to malicious websites containing malware or code designed to steal your data or stay hidden in your device to perform background activities.

Be careful when clicking on links online, especially in your email inbox, as that is where most phishing attacks take place. Check the link first by carefully examining it and looking for red flags. Some red flags include weird numeric sequences before the .com, the lack of ‘s’ in HTTPS,’ and various strange strains of letters and numbers. If anything looks strange to you, then just don’t click.

#4 Don’t share your info

We live in a world where we are all - including very young children - are encouraged to share their lives online through social platforms like Facebook (Metaverse), Twitter, Instagram stories, live videos – and any other platform you can think of. While building a personal brand does have its benefits in today’s economy and modern job fields, there are too many risks involved with sharing your data online.

There is a time and place for everything, and it’s critical to keep in mind that pretty much anything about you that is online can be accessed and used even without your knowledge. Be careful what kind of information you choose to make available on your social accounts. Remember not to trust people you haven’t interacted with outside of email or chat spheres. You never know who could be hiding behind a fake username. Be careful what kind of info you put out there.

#5 Backup your data

Last but not least, as much as you try to stay away from danger online, you can never predict when an attack can occur. For that reason, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. We recommend you backup your data regularly: once an incident happens, it’s already too late! Having a backup of your most important files could save you many headaches in case of a data breach or a similar security issue. Many cloud storage providers and services can help you backup data quickly and reliably.

Surf the Web Safely

Practicing better security habits will surely help you stay out of trouble on the web. Staying aware of online is an important element of cybersecurity that is overlooked. Make sure to read up on the latest changes in the security space and stay on top of trends that can help you protect your data and devices.