Safety has occupied a continually increasing spot in the almost all aspects of our lives. We now have cars with a dozen air bags and sensors on all sides that indicate when an accident is imminent. It’s become so important to us in our driving lives, but why not in our digital lives? Why don’t more people nowadays know how to keep their computer and identity safe on the internet?
The Internet Is a Dangerous Place
Most internet surfers have no idea what potential dangers await them in the depths of the online world. It’s a large expanse full of all types of menacing creatures: spammers, hackers, and identity thieves. Being caught off guard online can cause you some serious harm. The least of your worries is that a virus or adware infects your system, but the greatest threats come from spyware.
If spyware makes it onto your computer, it could easily scrape your credit card numbers from web forms that you fill out. After this, your card’s information will be sold on a black market chatroom. Once it’s in the hands of your new friend, they will try to rack up as much of a bill on it as they can before you or your bank notices. In even more extreme cases, hackers can use spyware to steal your identity and open new lines of credit in your name. While malware can ruin your computer system, spyware has the potential to cost you much more. Many lives have been ruined by it.
Safe Technology You Must Have
You need to have a firewall, and it needs to be enabled. Most users already have one, but sometimes, they disable it in order to allow certain programs to function. Don’t ever do this. Instead, go into your firewall settings and give a program special approval to bypass the firewall. Always keep your firewall active.
You must have a good antivirus program as well. This will regularly scan your computer for trojans, viruses, and other kinds of malware and spyware. It’s an incredibly important tool in the war on the dangers of the digital world, and you don’t have to spend big bucks for it either. Many people are surprised to learn that there are several free antiviruses available. Don’t let their lack of a price tag discourage you. They are robust, and if you can’t afford a more premium version, one of those free programs will be more than enough for you.
Safe Practices To Follow
Some of the best practices for internet safety should come as common sense. If anyone emails you claiming to be the prince of Nigeria and asking for any kind of financial transaction, send it straight to the trash bin. This might seem so obvious that it doesn’t even merit mentioning, but there’s a reason these spammers continue to do this. It’s because it, surprisingly, works on some people. Sometimes scammers are a bit more clever though. They might try to disguise themselves as a bank or other official institution. Always be careful about giving out your information through email, even you are corresponding with what seems like a legitimate organization.
You always have to exercise extreme caution with the sites you visit, especially when you’re at work. Don’t give your information to any site that you don’t trust, but beware of phishing as well. That’s when an illegitimate site is disguised as an official one. This is often used with social networking sites like Facebook in an effort to get your profile’s password and spam your friends with advertising links.
The digital world is full of dangers, and most of its citizens don’t even know it. Their computer can be ruined as a result, or their identity and money could be stolen. At any given moment, you are only a few clicks away from the digital equivalent of being in a dark alley surrounded by thugs. Take the proper precautions and follow best practices. Don’t be the next victim to fall prey to armchair hackers and internet thieves.
This is a guest post by Marianne Ross, a freelance writer mostly blogging about tech&gadgets. Marianne is currently working on behalf of 1&1 Internet, complex tech company where you can find more information about how to make a website safely on your own.