Being secure when doing practically anything on the internet is becoming more and more of a daunting task every day. With cybercriminals becoming more cunning in luring us into their traps, we need to exercise caution whenever we’re browsing the internet. From our social media accounts to email and online shopping, our web activities are monitored and tracked and we need to do all in our power to protect ourselves from it. Thankfully, there are some very efficient ways to keep ourselves safe, and not all of them require spending a lot of money, but simply using our common sense.
Keeping yourself secure from online fraud is a never-ending task, and it starts every time we open our browser. These are a few pointers you should always keep in mind when doing anything on the World Wide Web, and these pieces of advice will help you prevail against cyber villains.
Use a good antivirus program
Everything starts in your device, even before you start your internet connection. Having a good, trustworthy antivirus program won’t only guard you against malware that can breach your privacy, but it will also enable you to be aware of websites that pose a potential threat. Also, when you’re prompted to update your antivirus, do so, because it will improve your overall security. Even if you don’t want to spend money on antimalware program, you can opt out for one of the free ones that are very effective and will get the job of keeping you safe done.
Beware of email frauds
Though many people think that they’ve seen it all when it comes to spam and fraud attempts, don’t get full of yourself too quickly. Just like we learned what emails not to open and simply delete, cybercriminals are always learning new tricks and how to approach their victims from different directions. You can now get emails that look completely legit and official, asking you to click on some link to verify your account, or even worse send back some sensitive information. Even when it looks real, be suspicious and maybe go directly to the website of that business instead of clicking on the link in the email. Also, you can take a better look at the link to see where it’s actually taking you. If you realize that the destination of the link has nothing to do with the person or the company that sent you the email, delete it immediately. You can apply the same policy for attachments in the emails.
Stand strong against phishing attacks
If you don’t use Ad Block or any other form of defense against clickable ads, chances are you are constantly exposed to phishing attacks just waiting to happen. There are some good antivirus programs that protect you from phishing, but be sure to check if your program supports that level of protection. Whenever you’ve seen an offer giving you a chance to make a lot of money working from home or some miraculous weight loss strategy, that is phishing. In case you click on it, the site will look real and ask you for some personal information that the program can then use to breach your security and hack all your personal accounts. There is also something called spear phishing, where malicious programs specially target internet users from whom they’ve already divulged a certain amount of information. Be very stingy with your personal data whenever you’re on the internet, give out only what is necessary and more importantly, understand why that information is required.
Virtual private networks are a good investment
Having your connection encrypted every time you access the internet is a significant perk that will make you much less eligible for any form of fraud. Virtual private networks are one of the best solutions for protecting you from all forms of threats on the web, including malware, phishing, surveillance and it’s also very useful in bypassing geo-blocking. We suggest doing your research before you decide which VPN provider you want, because there are some that offer much more than others, so you want to choose wisely. If you don’t know where to begin, reviews might be a good place to start, and reviews like Express VPN review can give you a comprehensive outlook on what you can expect from a trustworthy VPN company that provides you with high-quality service.
Shop online from home
Pairing online shopping with public networks is never a good idea, seeing that public Wi-Fi makes your device very susceptible to any kind of fraud and security breach. don’t ever do your online shopping in a café or at an airport, because it exposes your credit card details to anyone that has a little bit of expertise in hacking, which means it takes very little effort to get to your financial information and misuse it.
As you can see, online fraud can take many shapes and forms, which is why you should always be cautious and take everything you see with a pinch of salt. Just be suspicious and use common sense in the game of avoiding fraud on the internet and most of the time, you should be safe.