Simply installing an antivirus software on your PC cannot guarantee your online safety. Internet security is an ongoing process, where you need to stay on guard against the latest threats. Run through the below post and check if you are making any of these 7 deadly Internet Security mistakes.
1. Trusting unknown emails
Do you tend to trust unknown emails that ask you to click links or download attachments? If your answer is yes, then you may be one of those many people who fall prey to infected emails.
Chuck such emails, especially if they talk about money or ask you to take an urgent action such as clicking a link or filling up a form. Be extra careful of such emails if they claim to be from your bank or an online store.
2. Leaving your WiFi open
Is your WiFi network protected with a secure password? If no, then you are not only encouraging freeloaders to hog on your data but also hackers to snoop on your Internet activity like sending emails, online banking/shopping, chatting, etc.
Ask your Internet service provider to help you set a password for your WiFi network. And if you can do it on your own, then what are you waiting for?
3. Downloading Freeware
Free software are the first love of Netizens. But they are also the favorite medium of attackers to hack into your system. Freeware that do not have verified publishers are always a bad news, because they usually come with hidden malicious programs like spyware that steal your personal information and send it to hackers.
Only download software that has a verified publisher. It is also necessary that you do some online research about the software and read up on its reviews and ratings.
4. Using outdated software
Is your Windows Update set to automatic? Do you regularly update your Internet browsers and programs on your computer? If your answer is no, then your PC might be at an increased risk of getting hacked. This is because, outdated OS and programs have unpatched software weaknesses (vulnerabilities) which can be easily exploited by attackers.
Set your Windows Updates to automatic. Update all your Internet browser, and check if updates are available for all the programs you are using.
5. Using the same password for all online accounts
Imagine if your house key could be used to open your garage, your bank locker, your car, or your safe. That would be terrible wouldn’t it! Losing this key means compromising the security of all your assets. The same theory applies to your online safety. Multiple online accounts having the same password, stay at risk of being hacked if anyone of them is compromised.
- Choose a unique password for every online account
- Create a password using uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and especial characters (&, %, @, _, $, etc.)
- Never use predictable words such as your name, your pet’s or school’s name, date of birth, etc.
6. Not taking two-factor authentication seriously
Does it feel lazy to use two-factor security for your online accounts? In other words, does it feel unnecessary to put in a password, receive a code on your mobile, and putting in the code to sign in? Well, if your answer is yes, then this is another deadly Internet security mistake that you are committing. Two-factor authentication protects your account even if an attacker steals or cracks your password, because they would still need the passcode sent to your mobile to access your account.
Turn the two-factor authentication ON for all your online accounts, wherever applicable. The below links will help you with it:
7. Sharing too much online
Do you have an uncontrollable impulse for sharing your vacation plans, new credit card number, home address, school address, phone number and other personal information on the Internet? If yes, then this habit might land you into trouble. Sharing such information online such as public forums, blogs, social media, etc., might make you vulnerable to stalkers and cyber criminals. It is not difficult for them to steal people’s identity using their personal details.
Avoid making your personal information such as date of birth, phone number, home and school address, social security number, etc., public.
So, have you committed anyone of these 7 deadly Internet security mistakes? If no, then you are in the GREEN. And if yes, well, you know what to do. Stay safe!