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A Complete Online Safety Guide with Expert Tips and Advice

The Internet is now the place where an individual spends most of his time. Be it for searching for information, entertainment, browsing social media, transacting online, or just doing window-shopping, a regular user spends almost 5-6 hours on average daily on the internet.

While the advancement of technology, and affordable and accessible internet has boosted the number of internet users with enhanced spending time, it has also led to an increase in the number of daily cybercrimes.

Data breaches, online scams, phishing attacks, and other forms of cyber threats targeting individuals and organizations are on the rise. Therefore, it is the need of the hour to educate everyone regarding the online forms of cyber-attacks and how to stay safe online.

In this guide, we will tell you about the basic tools and knowledge to help you spend your precious time safely over the internet with confidence.

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Build a strong defense for your online presence

This is the first and foremost step, to build a strong defense system. Here are a couple of ways to secure yourself.

  • Updated software and system security

A report by Statista stated the global cybersecurity market is expected to reach $323.1 billion by 2025. This indicates how rapidly the security software market is growing.

So, you also need to do your part by installing reputable antivirus and anti-malware software that will help you detect and remove hazardous files from your device.

Additionally, regularly update your device’s operating system to the latest versions, and patch vulnerabilities. Enable firewalls as well to filter incoming and outgoing traffic.

  • Ensure strong password protection

Passwords protect your devices and online account by serving as a gatekeeper. A password statistics report by NordPass mentioned an average user has over 100 online accounts. This indicates the need for strong passwords to secure online space.

So, avoid using the same password at all places. Always use a combination of uppercase, lowercase, special characters, and numbers.

You can take the help of password manager tools to keep your passwords safe and secure by eliminating the need to remember all of them all the time.

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Identify threats lurking online

After setting a strong defense, look out for potential threats. You will be targeted through various ways to reveal sensitive data or fall victim to cyber-attacks.

Here are a few things you should be good at.

  • Identifying phishing attempts

Phishing scams are the most common type of cyber-attack constituting over 50% of total cyber-crimes and causing damages of hundreds of millions of dollars every year.

Phishing attacks lure users to reveal personal information or click malicious links. So, be aware of such emails and messages from unknown senders. Avoid revealing your passwords, OTPs, etc. in order to get rewards that are too good to be true.

Also, never download attachments from unknown sender.

  • Check website security

Often several websites require you to enter your personal information there. So, you must verify their legitimacy by looking at HTTPS encryption. Look out for websites that look fake, have poor design, incomplete information, bad spelling, and grammar.

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Share on social media responsibly

The average time spent on social media platforms has gone up to over 2 hours a day. Watching YouTube shorts, scrolling through endless Instagram reels, posting every single picture on Snapchat, and scrolling Facebook feeds till midnight, all these can lead to cyber-attacks if not done responsibly.

Take control of your privacy on such social media platforms. Limit your information for public visibility.

Avoid interacting with unknown online users, and never ever reveal your personal information to such persons. Do not agree to meet them in person without properly verifying their identity and most importantly, keep online friends up to online platforms only.

Report immediately if you ever find something fishy and suspicious.

Protect online transactions and finances

Digital payments are on the rise today. They are convenient as well as easy to use. But negligence can cause to wipe out all your savings.

Here’s what you need to do.

  • Shop responsibly

You will frequently come across various offers where you will get an iPhone at a 90% discount. All you just need to do is pay the shipping fee. So, that’s a scam and you will several similar offers.

Shop only on reputable and genuine product websites.

Do not use public Wi-Fi for financial transactions. And always see the padlock icon and HTTPS encryption is available on the app and website you are making payment on.

  • Avoid becoming a victim of online scams

Learn about common online scams. Information about them is often circulated on the web, and social media via respective departments.

Do not apply for investment schemes, fake giveaways, online lottery wins, and other such scams. You can get necessary information about the latest cyber-attack tactics on Federal Trade Commission websites, and get necessary information to avoid these scams.

Conclusion

These are some of the common tips and advice that will help you keep safe and browse the web confidently. Internet users are continuously bombarded with various attack tactics so that they fall victim to either of the cyber-attacks being carried out on a large scale. Being aware of the latest scams, and fraud tactics, along with using the internet responsibly can help you avoid major losses.

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