Network Security and Privacy on the Internet

Security and Privacy on the Internet

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As the internet becomes a larger part of our daily lives, the questions of security and privacy when you are online are growing more important. Keeping your private data, finances, and personal information safe can be hard, but following these tips can help you to avoid most spyware, privacy breaches, and scams.

Be aware

The best tool that you can use to stay safe on the internet happens to be your brain. Staying aware of what you are doing and constantly thinking about your security while you are online will allow you to stand a better chance of avoiding some dangerous situations.

Check website safety

The internet can be pretty dangerous, because there are plenty of sites out there that want or require your personal information. Thieves, hackers, and spyware programmers know this and try to get your information, so ensure that you are dealing with secure companies and sites that only use HTTPS and have a padlock symbol in the browser’s address bar. This means that your information is encrypted, making it useless to thieves.

Choose varied and strong passwords

For many people password is a strong protector against thieves and hackers, and yet many people choose easy passwords. When you create a password, use letters and numbers and include special symbols if the site allows it. Even though it is harder to remember, it is also impossible to guess.

You should use different passwords for each site. Think about how many user accounts you have. Hackers often target the lower security sites in order to gain access to passwords as well as usernames, knowing that there are many people that will often use the same password for online banking and, say, Facebook.

Spyware and how to stop it

Spyware is one of the biggest threats to security and privacy on the internet, and yet there are few people who know what it is and how it works. Spyware is a software that records your actions or information without your knowledge. Some spyware is simple and fairly harmless, it just tracks your browsing history and keeps the data anonymous, while others are out to get your online banking information.

It is important to avoid spyware on your own, so having antivirus and antispyware on your computer is a must. These programs will scan any software for malicious signatures and then block them if the program looks suspicious. They will also scan existing files and monitor your internet traffic to make sure that there is no harmful software that can record your information and send it back to hackers.

There are free antispyware programs out there, but be careful when trying to save money. Some of those programs are Trojan horses in disguise, looking to infect your computer instead of protecting it. Your best bet would be to go with an industry leader. These are the companies that have no interest in scamming you and are big enough to make sure that their databases are constantly updated as they find new threats. The best options will also offer free trials so you are able to see what the antispyware program does before you pay the company some of your money.

It is not just about spyware

With all of the talk about hackers, internet security and spyware, it is vital to note that many people with privacy issues are often the ones who put themselves in that position. If you think about social networking sites and just how much personal information is posted there, then you know that if someone was trying to steal your identity, you would need to stop and think about how a thief would be able to get information about you.

The most commonly used security questions are, for example, where you went to school at or your father’s middle name. If you happen to be concerned with your internet privacy, you need to consider staying away from social networking sites that minimize the information that you put out there or maximize the privacy setting on those social sites.

In conclusion

Complete security and privacy on the internet is a very tough goal for you to reach, and these are the tips that will help you to go the distance in keeping all your information safe. There are millions of people that use the internet, and thieves will go for the easy targets. Those who take time and think about their security and privacy and even take steps in trying to keep their information safe will notice that they are often passed over by hackers and thieves who are looking for easier targets and greener pastures.

[Featured image credit: "System Lock” by Yuri Samoilov, used under CC BY / Image cropped]

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