If you’re someone who spends time online, you’ll already know the dangers involved. Just like real life, every internet-based activity carries some small degree of risk, usually relating to career criminals who spend their days trying to hack into and steal other people’s data.
This can range from identity theft through to financial fraud, and falling victim is never nice. However, there are certain ways to protect yourself and safeguard your data, and most of them are pretty straightforward and simple.
Here are three to be aware of the next time you decide to take a journey through the world wide web.
Secure websites are a must
If there’s one activity that’s immensely popular online, it’s gaming. From poker to roulette to blackjack and bingo, everyone wants to indulge in their favorite pastime – and we’d all like to do it safely. For this reason, we’re going to use it to illustrate our first point.
Let’s imagine you’re in search of an online casino, where you’re hoping to spend an enjoyable afternoon gambling and indulging in a game of bingo. One of the simplest ways to ensure you’re properly protected is by checking that your chosen provider is https certified – i.e. that their URL begins with these five letters, as in the case of https://bingo.paddypower.com. This is the beginning part of the web URL that starts with ‘https’, which stands for hypertext transfer protocol secure.
The additional ‘s’ in the address bar indicates that the website has an active secure sockets layer certificate, which creates a secure encrypted connection between server and browser, to make sure your data is as safe as possible. If you’re curious about this, then https://howtogeek.com explores this in more detail if you want to learn more.
Take control of your privacy settings
Most of us share an awful lot of information online, and while it may be hard to see how this could be used against you, you’d be surprised by what hackers can do with something as simple as your birthday or mother’s maiden name.
Marketers, too, like to know all about your life, likes, and dislikes, and while their intentions are unlikely to be criminal, not everyone is comfortable with businesses having direct access to their online data.
If either one of these scenarios concerns you, it’s time to take control of your privacy settings. Both web browsers and mobile operating systems afford individuals the chance to take charge of what they share, as do social media platforms such as Facebook.
This means you can have a good look at what you’re actually authorizing companies to mine or the general public to see, to make sure they only have access to information that you’re comfortable putting out there.
Be clever about your passwords
Passwords are created to protect us, but you’d be surprised by how many people fail to take advantage of them. What we mean by this is that lots of individuals opt for incredibly generic choices, which are all too easy to guess.
If you’ve ever used either ‘password’, ‘abcd’, or ‘1234’, you’re guilty of this yourself, making it painfully simple for hackers and online criminals to access your accounts and personal data. Beware, also, of using information that’s easily found online, such as the name of one of your pets or your birthday.
Instead, we recommend that you either take advantage of password manager software – more on that can be read at https://safetydetectives.com/ – or utilise a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols, ideally ones which have no active connection to you.
Isn’t it time you started making sure that you’re staying safe online?
Author | Emily Forbes
An Entrepreneur, Mother & A passionate tech writer in the technology industry!