10 Ways To Stay Safe Online

February 2, 2023

The fast convenience of constant internet access has changed the landscape of work, education, entertainment, and social interactions. Staying connected over the web can lead to amazing advancements, and it is vital to maintain safe practices. Safe internet usage can help you to avoid costly and time-consuming problems. Anyone who connects their electronic device to the internet may be vulnerable to a digital attack, and they may not know that it is happening until it is too late. Think about the following ways to stay safe online.

1. Install Defensive Software

You can install paid or open-source defensive software on your laptop or PC. Look for antivirus and malware protection that is compatible with your hardware. Maintaining a strong defense is an important component of digital risk protection and safe practices. Check your device storage capacity and set aside time for quick installation.

2. Enable a Firewall

Your device likely came with a firewall feature that can be enabled or disabled. Recent college students should verify that their firewall is up and working, as online test proctoring services sometimes require changes to security settings. Be very cautious about installing anything that prompts you to change firewall settings, as it may be masking a problem. 

3. Use Private Wifi 

Using public wifi in coffee shops, libraries, airports, and hotels may make your online activities visible to nefarious parties. It is easy to avoid this issue by conducting business on password-protected private networks. Subscribe to a virtual private network service for additional protection while traveling.

4. Use Impersonal Passwords

Your passwords should be random and entirely different from your personal information. Many people have used the name of their first pet or an important date as a password, and their information turned out to be too discoverable. A strong password generator can create a robust combination of letters, numbers, and symbols that can confuse the most intrepid hackers. 

5. Change Your Passwords Frequently 

In addition to using strong passwords, you should change them regularly. Think about setting new passwords weekly or monthly, with potentially vulnerable accounts changed more often. This can help you to lock out prying eyes and fortifies you against forgetting to log out on an old device.  

6. Vary Your Login Credentials 

Use distinctly different username and password combinations for each online account. It may be helpful to set up a few backup email accounts for secure login combinations. Ensure that a hacker cannot use information from one vulnerable account to conquer another. 

7. Be Wary of Anonymous Communication

Exercise caution over online chat boards and social media interactions. Anyone can misrepresent themself on the other end of a dating app connection, Discord server, or Instagram message. Look for identity verification possibilities and listen to suspicions. 

8. Use a Webcam Cover

Built-in webcams are great for FaceTime and Zoom. The same webcams can be accessed by skilled hackers without your knowledge. Although the chance of this occurring after you take other protective steps is low, a simple webcam cover can eliminate the possibility of spying eyes. Get a small webcam cover sticker with a sliding door from an online retailer. 

9. Post Asynchronous Location Data

Always delay posting pictures of identifiable locations on social media until after you depart. This protects you against stalking or lesser levels of intrusion. The same logic applies to posting vacation photos after you get home so that no one online knows exactly when your home is unattended. 

10. Check Social Media Settings

Go into your social media settings and verify that your choices have been saved. Consider whether you want future employers or partners to see your public social media, and remember that private accounts are not immune to leaks. Turn off automatic location tagging for extra security. 

 Smart, simple choices can protect your personal information online and prevent annoying breaches. Taking the time to secure your online identity can serve you well. 

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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