5 ways to protect yourself online

Now more than ever, it’s important to protect yourself while online. Identity theft is on the rise and the crime can have devastating effects to your reputation and finances. Cyber security breaches are another huge problem that can leave thousands of people’s personal data exposed. To be the safest you can possibly be while you are online, there are a few steps you can take to protect yourself. When you follow these tips, you will be safer and can get much more enjoyment out of your online life.

Use Passwords That are Difficult to Guess

One of the smartest things to do to keep yourself protected online is to choose passwords that are complex and more difficult for hackers and thieves to guess. This means you should never choose a password like “1234” or “password,” which are too obvious. Create passwords that are a good mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Avoid using something that people may know about you, such as your birthdate or favorite sports team. You should also opt for a long password because it’s usually more difficult to guess.

Use a VPN

Using a VPN (virtual protocol network) is an excellent way to protect yourself while online. A VPN works to mask your real IP address, which essentially makes your online activities invisible. Not only does it protect you against hackers and data thieves while you are using public Wi-Fi, but you can also help you watch blacked out video content. A VPN is essential when you use such a service because trackers are unable to trace your real IP address and protects you from anything malicious.

Be Smart with Email

Be wary of any unknown email addresses, especially those that solicit. Frequently, you might receive malware or a scam email that contains a link or attachment. You should always be cautious with any messages that contain those things because clicking on strange links or opening odd attachments can result in malware being installed on your computer or mobile device. If you receive a strange looking email from an email address of someone you know and trust, you should also be suspicious of it because the person’s account may have been hacked.

Always Use Antivirus Software

It’s important to always use antivirus software on your computer. In addition, you will want to have a good anti-spyware program installed and always use a firewall. Run the antivirus and anti-spyware programs at least once per week to check for viruses, Trojan horses, worms and other types of malware. If anything is detected, take the necessary steps to eliminate them from your computer system. If you use an Android smartphone or tablet, you should install a good antivirus app on them as well.

Be Smart About Social Media

You should always leave certain details out of your social media accounts. Your birthdate and address don’t necessarily need to be added. You should also make use of the privacy settings on your accounts so that you can control who sees what. Be wary about accepting everyone who wants to connect as well. Unfortunately, there are fake profiles on social media, such as catfish who are looking to scam you.

These are some of the best ways to protect yourself online. When you follow these five tips, you will enjoy better security and be less likely to be a target for thieves and hackers.

Adam Richards

About Adam Richards

Adam Richards is a semi-retired business professional originally from Bangor, Maine. He spent the majority of his career in sales and marketing where he rose to the marketing lead of a Fortune 1000 company. He then moved on to helping people as a career counselor that specifically helped bring families to self-sufficiency through finding them rewarding careers. He has now returned to Bangor for his retirement and spends his free time writing. This blog will be about everything he learned throughout his career. He'll write on career, workplace, education and technology issues as well as on trends, changes, and advice for the Maine job market and its employers.