It has never been more essential to protect yourself as you go about your business online. More and more of our lives are spent using the web, as we now use the internet on our phones, our tablets and our home computers. This means that there are more opportunities for cyber-criminals to obtain sensitive information, damage your software and ruin your digital experience for good. Here are three pieces of new advice to remember whenever you go online to help keep you secure.
Look out for a padlock symbol
There are multiple case studies of internet scammers creating fake copies of familiar websites, in order to trick users into parting with sensitive information. Examples of this can include anything from the homepage of your favourite retail sites or your internet banking login page. Whether you play casino blackjack or bag bargains on eBay, the most sophisticated of these fakes can look convincing and it can be difficult to tell whether you are on the site that you trust or an imitation.
Double-check the web URL at the top of the page to see if it is familiar. Bookmarking your secure pages is a good way of keeping a link to reliable sites, and you can quickly open this page in another tab to check if the URL is the same. Always look for the green padlock symbol next to the URL, which shows whether the site you have visited is secured and can be trusted. A red cross means that the site is not secure and may not be safe to use.
Regularly check your privacy settings
In the age of social media, it is imperative to your safety online that you know who sees the content you post and share. When using Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and other sites, you will be given the option to adjust who can view your profile in a search and who can contact you. This allows you to enjoy social media with others that you trust and avoid strangers who may or may not be trustworthy.
If someone you don’t know contacts you on social media, do not agree to meet that person in real life or give them any personal details. Remain calm and talk to a friend or colleague that you trust, to see if they know the person. Always look out for potential phishing accounts. These are usually fake, with few pictures or details, and are very often quite new. If you suspect an account is fake, you can report it to the site administrator.
Using a firewall and antivirus software is essential to protect you from malware, which can steal information and damage any of your devices – so it’s important not just to protect your desktop. If you enjoy online casino, for instance, you may have been playing at home on your computer for some time. But now these platforms are being made available for Android and iOS, many gamers are also taking the opportunity to spin the slots or dabble in table games when out and about, too. Where money is changing hands and there are large jackpots at stake, it is vital that you protect yourself from unwanted intrusions
Never skimp on protection, as you will almost certainly be targeted by malicious programs. Cyber-security specialists McAfee recommend also using a VPN, which can help protect you on unsecured networks, such as public Wi-Fi. Use security scans to sweep your devices for bugs regularly, and remember to carry out all software updates to stay on top of things.
Keeping yourself secure online used to just mean remembering your passwords and not telling them to anybody. But with digital progress comes many different threats to your sensitive and personal information on the present-day web. Keep yourself informed about cyber-scams and new malware, and always remain vigilant when entering your details on websites. The more care you take, the safer you will be.