Tips and tricks on how to stay safe online

Surfing the web, be it for socialising with friends, watching videos on YouTube, or researching for a work related project, is a big part of our day-to-day routine. And because of that, it is imperative for you to be prepared to face the dangers of the virtual medium. Here are some tips and tricks to help you focus on your job or relaxing instead of troubling yourself with staying safe online.

Install and run anti-virus software.

This is imperative for your safety since anti-virus software that detects, blocks and removes malicious code from the system is key for the protection of that device.

Update your operating system and the software on the system.

Equally important is keeping the operating system and the security product up to date at all times. Updated antivirus programs offer you proactive protection, intelligent scanning with minimal resource consumption, along with multiple signature updates a day. You can also try a free antivirus first to see if it suits your needs before thinking of buying more advanced software suites.

Use a good firewall.

Firewalls filter Internet access on a pre-defined set of rules denying access onto the system to any illegal or unknown applications on the web.

Be careful about e-mails that come from unknown senders.

Do not open unsolicited and unexpected e-mail message, particularly if they come with attachments. Then, if the e-mail comes with information that seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Never believe someone who offers you money in exchange for small favours. If you absolutely need to download an e-mail attachment, then scan it with the best antivirus solution you have available.

Do not reply to spam messages and never unsubscribe.

If you are bombarded with spam messages, avoid unsubscribing them. Because once you click the unsubscribe button you will immediately confirm the spammer that the e-mail address is being used and their messages reach someone; and at that point the emails won’t stop pouring in your inbox. Again, the antispam and antiphishing modules in professional antivirus software save you the pain of sorting spam from legitimate e-mails yourself.

Keep critical data private.

To avoid having third parties sniffing your credentials, avoid using hotspots in public places (Internet Cafes, libraries etc.) to log into any of your accounts. Plus, never disclose confidential data, such as birth date, social security number, PIN codes or passwords over the internet or phone because then you are prone to being conned by social engineers. This is an extremely solid basis for a phishing attack using social engineering techniques. Banks, for instance, never ask customers to fill-in critical data in an form sent via e-mail or over the phone. They always ask you to go to the nearest bank and solve the critical matters.

Exercise extra caution when purchase online

The online purchasing business is many times extremely dangerous because of the great number of fake web shops. Unlike phishing pages, the fake online shops are not imitators of genuine online shops, but distinct websites altogether which present goods, cash money but never deliver the products. Always chose web shops that you know first-hand, either because you’ve used it in the past, or look for references from people you know and trust.