Cybercrime has been on the rise in recent years. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center revealed that internet products clients lost over 1 billion USD to scammers. If you are an online consumer, you must learn tips on how to stay safe online by doing simple things. Read on to find out the simple things you should do to stay safe online.
Use Strong Passwords
Use strong passwords on your online accounts. The longer the password, the stronger it tends to be. When creating your password, ensure that you use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
It would be best if you use stronger passwords, especially for essential accounts like online banking. Strong passwords help to prevent your account from being hacked. It would help if you also considered changing your password frequently.
Use Secure Payment Methods When Shopping Online
Online shopping is slowly becoming the order of the day. You can now purchase almost anything from online stores. As you make your purchases ensure you use a secure payment method like credit cards and PayPal.
Secure payment methods offer you buyer protection protecting you from online fraud. It would be best if you were wary of fake shopping apps that can be found on both the App Store and Play Store. Such apps trick users into buying non-existent goods.
Confirm Whether The Website Is Secure
Before you make purchases from any website, ensure that it is secure. Furthermore, you should only feed your credit card details into a secure site. So, how do you tell if a website is secure? Look out for the following:
- The website URL must start with https://, the ‘s’ indicates that the site uses a secure connection.
- There must be a padlock icon in the address bar next to the website URL. In other instances, the padlock is green.
- Click the padlock symbol to check the website’s certificate, which reveals who has registered the site. If you get a warning about the certificate, stay away from the site.
Beware Of Phishing Scams
Phishing scams use deceitful emails and websites to trick you into divulging your private information. The fraudsters usually target your login and financial information. To avoid getting into these traps, do not click any links or attachments or pop up ads from sources you do not know.
Be Careful When Using Public Wi-FI
Public WI-FI offers you a great way to stay connected when you are on the move. But, there are many security risks associated with public WI-FI connections. Cybercriminals usually use public WI-FI to hack into your emails, private documents, and passwords. The rule of thumb on public WI-FI is to assume someone is watching. Only share information that you wouldn’t mind if it were stolen.
Share Information on Social Media Sparingly
Nowadays, people tend to live their everyday lives on Twitter, Facebook, Tik Tok, and other social media apps. People share a lot of information on social media, for instance, their children’s names, birthday, where they live, and other personal information.
Anyone with a computer can access this information. To protect yourself from malicious internet users, limit the amount of information you share on social media. Only share information you would be comfortable sharing with a stranger you met on the streets.
Check App Permissions and Turn Off Location Services
When you install apps onto your smartphone, they usually request for access to certain functionalities to work well. Make sure you check app permissions and disable access to features they don’t need. For instance, an e-reading app shouldn’t have access to your camera. Also, turn off location services on apps you’re not using.