We live in a digital world. The convenience it offers is undisputed. The average internet user spends up to six hours and 42 minutes online. Our life is inundated with internet usage. However, one cannot be sure if they are secure from cybercrimes while navigating their way online.
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About 59% of Americans have reported cybercrime and it has resulted in a $6 trillion loss in 2022. We do not think much about our online safety while routinely using the internet. However, with the rising cybercrime cases, we should take browsing the internet seriously. Here is how you can enhance cybersecurity with safe browsing practices:
Create Secure Passwords
This may seem like repeated advice, but it is a notable one. Most websites ask you to create an account. If you have made purchases through these websites, your credit/debit card credentials are saved in the account. Your password serves as the first line of defense against cybercrime attempts. If you set a weak password, it will be easier for hackers to gain access to your financial information.
Set a password that is 10-12 characters long. Use lowercase letters, uppercase letters, special symbols, and numbers to set a difficult password.
Secure Your Internet Connection
Do not use a public internet connection. Public Wi-Fi connections can be used by cybercriminals to gain access to your phone and internet activity. Make sure the security protocols on your home Wi-Fi are up to date. The latest security protocol is WPA3, but WPA2 is the most widely used currently.
Do Not Engage with Pop-Ups
Do you know that simply clicking the close button on a pop-up can lead to a virus invasion on your computer? It is best not to engage with pop-ups on any website. Pop-ups are riddled with viruses that can steal information. Update your browser settings and block pop-ups to make the browsing experience safe.
Be Aware of Website Lookalikes
Hackers are smart. Cybercriminals can create excellent lookalike websites of popular or most visited sites to fool users. Users engage with these websites and end up submitting personal or financial information. Make sure you check the website domain name. If there are any spelling mistakes, it is likely not the right website. Furthermore, the website is secure if the website address starts with ‘HTTPS’ instead of simply ‘HTTP’. Bookmark the websites you visit often so you do not fall for a lookalike website.
Have a VPN and Antivirus Installed
VPN will encrypt your information and make your IP address invisible, to protect your PC against potential hacking attempts. A VPN is essential if you are working on public Wi-Fi in any capacity. Furthermore, an antivirus will not only protect against viruses and malware but also take the necessary steps to fight against them in case they infect your computer.
Identify Phishing Attempts
Phishing is the most prevalent cybercrime. You should be able to identify phishing attempts and protect your data against hacking. Make sure the messages or emails you respond to come from verified profiles and secure accounts. Do not provide personal details and financial credentials to people asking for online assistance.
Make sure the firmware on your computer is updated. Your browser should be up to date. Developers release new updates to provide enhanced security against potential threats. If your browser is not up to date, it will be vulnerable to viruses, malware, and hacking attempts.
The rising cases of cybercrime have left everyone worried about their internet safety. Most people have poor browsing habits, which make them vulnerable to these attacks. If you have not been taking cybersecurity seriously, you could be putting your personal, financial, and confidential data at risk. Follow the mentioned tips to make your internet journey safe.