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Ten Top Tips When Using The Internet

The internet is a wonderful place but there are many dangers to be wary of when it comes to using the World Wide Web. 

Whether you’re familiar with the internet or not, or you’re looking to educate your younger household members on how to navigate it carefully, these tips are worth knowing. Here are ten of the top tips to do when using the internet.

Be secure with your passwords

It’s easy to just set all of your login passwords as the same. However, it’s not something that you want to do because it makes you an easy target to get hacked or to have your private information compromised.

Securing your logins with strong passwords is important, so finding the right passwords to set should be something you consider carefully.

Think about setting passwords that are memorable but only memorable to you. Nothing that links it to you and your personal information such as the hometown you’re from or your birth year. You might want to consider installing a password software that remembers all of the passwords you set and that way, you don’t need to remember them every time you log in.

Backup your data regularly

Backing up your data regularly is a must, especially when it comes to nowadays when cyber crime is a rife online. With more people online, more cyber criminals are finding ways of preying on the vulnerable users.

When it comes to backing up your data, it should be something that you can do automatically, so that you don’t need to think about it. Most data nowadays is backed up to the cloud because the average person has a lot of data that can no longer be stored on mobile and electronic devices.

Look at what software is out there to help backup your data appropriately. There are plenty of platforms that you might be using that already have in-built protocols in place to keep your data secure and backed up.

Be careful about what you download

It’s always good to have an awareness of what you’re downloading and where you’re browsing when it comes to the internet. To help navigate the internet in a safe manner, you should be aware of what websites might pose a potential threat and putting steps in place to avoid going on the sites.

For example, you might want to look at the firewall software you have and whether it does enough to prevent you and other users from accessing the wrong websites. Whether you’re looking to shop for new clothes or sudoku, tread carefully. 

When it comes to downloading stuff from the internet, it’s good to be aware of what is legit and what might be a scam. A lot of these viruses that damage your computer or electronic device will often come from seemingly normal websites. You could also get it from random emails that you may or may not have been expecting to receive.

Always be wary of what you download when it comes to your emails. Be mindful of any suspicious emails that don’t look right or have content that doesn’t look quite right. Question your decisions and if you find that an email doesn’t look quite right, then make sure to delete the email before going any further.

Educate your children on internet ‘friends’

Children can be naive to the internet, but at the same time know a lot more than the average parent knows. Considering the older generations know life without the internet, the younger generations know a lot more because it’s all they’ve ever known.

With that being said, it’s good to educate your children on internet ‘friends’ that they make online. Sure, they are allowed to make friends but they should be careful about what information they share with those individuals and never meet with them unless you’re going to be with them.

There have been a number of situations where unfortunately a child has gone to meet up with a stranger and it’s ended up in tragedy. Your kids need to be both street-smart and digital-smart, so don’t be afraid to educate your children on this.

Look at privacy settings on social media

Social media is a wonderful place but it can also be one where your information might be shared and distributed without your consent. As the world of meta and AI continues to evolve, these free social media platforms that many of us use may start using our content without the knowledge or consent of the user.

With that in mind, it might be worth starting to pay attention to your privacy settings. From who can see your content, to how it’s used by the platform. Privacy settings are important, especially if you don’t want your social media profile seen by other people or organizations.

Instead of being blissfully unaware of social media, start paying attention to what you’re signing up for. Those terms and conditions that you tick contain some vital information that you’ll want to be aware of.

Secure your browsing and network with a VPN

Nowadays, a good way to protecting your browsing and network in general is through a VPN. A VPN or a virtual private network is a mechanism that creates a secure connection between the device you’re using and the network you’re accessing. 

A good use of a VPN is when you’re accessing a public internet service from your phone or electronic device. You could also consider securing your own home WIFI network with a VPN. 

VPNs are relatively inexpensive to have, so it might be worth getting one for everyone in your family. That way, you have peace of mind that your browsing is protected and secure at all times for everyone in the household.

Make use of two-factor authentication

The two-factor authentication is something that adds an extra layer of security to your accounts. As an identity and security access method, you can turn on the two-factor authentication service on many of your accounts, particularly your online banking.

With two-factor authentication, you’ll be required to enter a code or prompted on another device to click confirm or deny access to the account. This is great to help avoid any potential hackers trying to access your account. 

The codes or prompt will come through on your device and will then be required to take action to successfully log in.

Close any accounts you no longer use

The internet is vast and there are likely a lot of sites that you’re probably logged into or have information on. Therefore, you should look at closing any accounts you no longer use.

This might take some time, and you might want to do a few searches on your browser history to know where your information might be held. A good way of finding this information is by checking out your emails, especially in your spam and promo folders. This will likely show all of the sites and businesses that hold your information for marketing purposes.

It’s something that you could look at doing gradually and it’ll make a big difference to your inbox and the amount of information that’s online about you and your household. 

Be careful about what payment methods you use

Payment methods are something to be wary of, especially because giving your information online can be risky. With so many sites, if you’re willingly providing your payment methods, you might get unlucky and end up paying for something through a site that’s not legit.

Being a bit more wary about what payment methods you’re using online and try to go through more secure methods where you can. For example, it might be better to use an e-wallet like PayPal rather than using a debit card.

A credit card is going to be more secure if you end up getting scammed because you are more likely to get the money back from the lender or bank you have the credit card with. Think about the payment methods you use and limit them so that you limit the risk. The lower the risk, the better.

Sign up for alerts about your personal information being online

Signing up for alerts about your own personal information being online is worthwhile. Every other day, a user’s information is being sold to the dark web and that means your accounts being at risk.

You should look at signing up for alerts online through Google to help with tracking any personal information that might now potentially be in the wrong hands. These alerts will help you to be proactive and do something about it sooner rather than later.
The internet is a wonderful place but it’s a place that’s growing a lot. As technology grows, you’ll likely see new threats pop up on the web. It’s therefore useful to know everything there is to know about the internet and the potential dangers – as well as the positive opportunities – that are out there. It’s only going to protect you and your family in the future from harm.

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