October is observed as the Cyber Security Awareness Month. And we thought of celebrating it by sharing some essential dos and don’ts of Internet security with you. And here they are.
1. While you are banking, shopping or paying your bills online, check if the website’s URL begins with ‘https’. Also look for the padlock icon, which indicates that the connection is secure.
2. Go for unique, and hard to guess passwords. Never keep the same password for different online accounts. Create a password that has a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, special characters, and numbers.
3. Use your primary email address to stay in touch with people you know or are acquainted with.
4. For social media sites, use an email address that you do not use for important communications.
5. Avoid using free, unsecured Wi-Fi for shopping or banking on the Internet and even for logging into your social media profiles.
6. Delete old accounts that you do not use anymore.
7. Before downloading any free software, research on the software and the website hosting it. Ensure the software’s publisher is verified.
8. Access your bank’s website by manually typing its URL in the address bar. Never access it from an email or a text message.
9. Never click on links or download attachments in unwanted, unexpected emails, even if such emails look like they are from a known source.
10. Take regular backups of all your important files. Doing this is more important now that ransomware attacks are becoming so rampant. It is recommended to store the backup on external hard drives and connect them to your PC as less as possible. Alternatively, you can also use a trusted cloud-based backup service.
1. Avoid making your personal information public on social media sites and the Internet in general. Read this post to know about the disadvantages of sharing too much information online.
2. Avoid checking ‘Keep me logged in’ or ‘Remember me’ options on websites, especially on public computers.
3. Never use your official email address for social media sites.
4. Never use any of your personal information such as name, date of birth, address, etc., as your password.
5. Never respond to pop-up ads that may come up on your screen. Close such pop-ups from the task manager; press Alt+Ctrl+Delete.
6. Avoid visiting inappropriate websites or websites that you are not fully aware of.
7. Always log out of online accounts when you are done. This is especially important when you are using a public computer.
8. Do not install software that comes as an attachment in emails.
9. Avoid saving your credit/debit card information on websites and web browsers.
10. Never share your personal/bank details on phone, email or SMS, even if the caller/sender seems genuine.
To conclude this list of the dos and don’ts of Internet security with one last important tip, invest in an antivirus software that offers multilayered security that can block infected websites, emails, and downloads. The antivirus should also offer protection against ransomware attacks and the latest malware threats.
Being cyber aware is the first step to your Internet safety. If you find this post helpful, do share it with your friends and peers. Stay safe!