We are really sorry to inform you that internet safety is something that everyone talks about, but unfortunately, it does not exist anymore. All the time we hear about some new threat that is capable of wreaking havoc on every machine and every device that is connected to the internet. There are no machines that are invulnerable now.
However, it’s not as bad as we mentioned before, there are still things that you can do to protect your computer and stay safe online.
You need a piece of software or hardware that will protect and will only allow certain types of data to cross. This software or hardware is located somewhere between your computer and the network. If you already have a router then you have a hardware firewall, which will protect your computer from some threats. If you are still old school and you are using dial up connection then you need to install software firewall.
Viruses are always able to cross the firewall somehow and end up on your computer, usually through your email. If you scan your computer for viruses once in a while, you will be able to remove them from your hard disc. If you have a real time virus scanner, it will always detect them as soon as they arrive. They will not even hit your disc, but they will only slow down your computer a bit, and probably interfere with some other operations.
Spyware is pretty much the same as viruses because they both arrive unexpectedly and do some things to your computer that you do not want. Spyware cannot do any damage to your computer but will only spy on you. This is very dangerous because your personal information is at risk. Some spyware may violate your privacy and steal your account login information and others may just redirect you to some other websites and try to sell you something.
Good news is that there are spyware scanners so you can protect yourself, locate and remove them.
You must install the latest updates. Always enable automatic updates so that your computer will be protected at all times.
Do a research
If you receive an attachment and you are not certain what it is, you do not have to open it. Be skeptical all the time. This way, you will protect yourself from phishing scams. Avoid links that you are not positive that they are safe. If you receive a free software, do not install it. Nothing is free nowadays. If the software is really free, that means it is full of spyware and maybe something worse. When you go on a website and you receive a popup to install something, do not do it if you are not sure that it is safe. If you are constantly receiving some warning message, do not ignore it. Do a research and find out what your computer is trying to tell you. And the last but not the least, use a unique password and do not share it with anyone.
Secure the home network and mobile connection
If you are on the road and you have to use hotspots or internet which is provided from your hotel or restaurant, then you need to be extra careful. Make sure that you are accessing the internet only through a secure connection. Be careful when you type your password, because you can never know who is passing next to you.
Backing up is not actually a security measure but we are going to mention it because it might be the only way to recover your data if you lose it in any way. You can easily undo the damage if you have a recent backup to restore from. If your computer is stolen or your hard disc crashes, the only way to recover your data is to have a back copy of it.
If you want to stay safe, you need to follow these simple rules. All these may look too much for you, but the good thing about it is that you need to make a set up once and later the software will update itself automatically.