10 Easy Tips To Protect Yourself Online

Personal security risks rise as the population using the internet grows. Cyberthreats have grown so common that the US federal government has set up a research and development agency to come up with a strategy for developing technology and establishing rules to reduce the hazards in cyberspace. Sadly, older adults are a popular target for online scams as a result of generally having higher net worths and less familiarity with modern technology. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take today to reduce the risk of encountering threats to your online security.

Tips to Protect Yourself Online

  1. Install an Antivirus Program

    Antivirus software is essential to protect yourself online. It is designed to protect, detect, and take action against harmful spammer software on your computer. Antivirus software is a crucial component for a suitable security protocol for your computer to avoid these devastating scamming viruses.

    Advantages of using antivirus software:
    • Block ads and spam

    • Defend against data thieves and hackers

    • Protect from removable devices

    • Protect your files and data

    • Cost-effective and preventative solution

  2. Do Not Open Mail from Unknown Senders

    It is important not to open any email attachments from suspicious, untrustworthy, or unknown sources. If the sender is unfamiliar to you and the email contains an attachment, it is highly recommended not to open any files, links, or email attachments.

    Standard precautions to protect yourself online include:

    • Detele spam from inbox

    • Do not open any email attachments if the subject line is questionable

    • Don't open unknown sender emails with attachments

    • Delete emails that contain giveaways or any incentives to open links

  3. Turn Off the 'Save Password' Feature in Browsers

    senior woman sitting in chair with laptopThere are many browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, or Safari, that have the option to "Save Password". Unfortunately, these save passwords options are putting your network security at risk.

    The option can seem appealing because no one wants to type the password every time you log in to a website. When you use plenty of online platforms and don't want to spend time writing the username or password, again and again, it's easy to want to use the "remember password" option. However, you should keep in mind that this presents an opportunity for scammers to find your password database. Instead, try these secure password management strategies
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  4. Clear Your Cache

    It is crucial to protect yourself online by clearing your cache. Here's why:

    • It helps your applications function better on your computer

    • It helps protect your personal information

    • It helps to remove personal data stored on old forms

  5. Different Accounts, Different Email Addresses

    Many people who are strict regarding their security utilize various email accounts. This can keep your inbox better organized and also reduce the damage if one of your accounts is hacked.

    Things to remember:

    • Use different email addresses for the applications you want to use for the first time

    • Never use your professional email for the links to signup from strangers

    • Make sure you keep a record of which email addresses you use for each account and how to access each inbox
  6. Pay With Your Smartphone

    Using credit or debit cards to pay for online purchases is outdated and is no longer the most secure option. Use mobile payment methods such as Google Pay or Apple Pay instead of pulling out your credit card to protect yourself from scammers. This way, your credit card information is never directly transferred to the merchant, making it harder for scammers to access your personal information.

    Setting your mobile phone as a payment method is usually a straightforward procedure. The requirements include a photo of the credit card or card number, including the other security questions.

  7. Use Passcodes

    older woman talking on phone and using laptopIt is essential to use a passcode lock to protect yourself online, even if it's not required. Protecting your applications, personal information, and data is crucial, and passcodes are one valuable component of securing your devices. Often, passcodes can be as simple as setting a PIN or drawing a pattern on your mobile device. Use passcodes to lock your phone and individual apps, making it harder for strangers to access information. 

  8. Use Two-Factor Authentication

    Many people think that two-factor verification is just nothing but a time waste. To access your accounts, you must pass the dual layer of authentication. However, it remarkably enhances the protection of your accounts. It is recommended to use two-factor authentication if your data is personal and essential. To protect yourself online, it is better to use two-factor verification.

  9. Get a VPN and Use It

    A VPN (virtual private network) has many benefits, and it protects yourself online from the prying eyes and disguises your IP address. Here's why it is more secure to use a VPN on your devices:

    • Secure data transfers

    • Access to regional content

    • Disguising your location

    • Secure encryption

  10. For Every Login, Use Unique Passwords

    Data breaches happen. When they do, scammers often collect information, including your account usernames/emails and passwords. This presents a risk if you use the same information to log in to multiple accounts. To add protection to all your online accounts, one of the simplest and most effective techniques is to create a unique password for every online account you have. That way, if one password is discovered in a breach, your other accounts remain safe. 

It is important to follow the above tips to protect yourself online. The security dangers rise as the population who uses the internet grows. People are exposing more personal information to the internet as they utilize social media sites and networks, making it increasingly difficult to preserve critical data. Security online cannot be guaranteed, but these simple steps can go a long way in helping to minimize the risk of online threats! 

Let us know in the comments below - How else do you keep your information safe online? 

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