Avoid Online Pitfalls
Avoiding Online Pitfalls That Could Compromise Your Security
Avoid Online Pitfalls
With the countless amount of time spent online with smartphones and computers, the likelihood that you might run into a malicious or unsafe link or program is pretty high. The internet is swarming with scams and malware that were designed to steal your information and use it maliciously.
These types of things can show up in a variety of different ways and mediums. Spam emails are a common type that most people receive every single day. Spam filters do a good job of trying to keep out suspicious emails, but they can’t catch all of them. Most of these emails will tell you that you’ve won something and that you need to click a link to claim it.
Other emails scams have gotten smarter and can look like an official email telling you that your account has been compromised. They will direct you to another link where it will request your information and then use it to log into your account and take your information.
Unknown websites offering you downloads of some kind can also be culprits in installing malware on your device. Refrain from downloading files from websites or servers that you are unfamiliar with as viruses can easily be hidden within these files.
The internet can be a difficult place to navigate while remaining safe. Check out the tips below to see how you can better protect yourself and your information from any problematic or malicious websites and software.
Only download files from credible sites
Downloads can be packed full of malware and viruses that can steal your information and cripple your computer. There is also a newer kind of malware called ransomware which will lockup your computer until you pay the hacker a fee.
Try to refrain from going to unknown websites that have very low credibility. Google tries to keep track of websites that have been reported for malware usage, however the system isn’t infallible. Some 3rd party antivirus programs such as Bitdefender GravityZone can provide good protection against malicious websites by checking them and filtering out any possible malware installation techniques.
Double check your emails
Cybercriminals have gotten pretty good at making emails seem like they are coming from a reliable source. These ‘sources’ can be anything from your bank to popular companies and brands. If an email seems ‘too good to be true’ than it probably is. If the email is saying that your account has been compromised or is asking for a password reset that you didn’t request, don’t use the link within the email. Navigate to the website URL directly and then try to login to your account.
If you still aren’t sure if the email is legit, look for any typos or inconsistencies within the email. Large brands and professional institutions will not have any misspelled words or misplaced punctuation within their emails.
Keep your antivirus and operating system up to date
Having a reliable antivirus program on your computer or device can significantly increase the security of your device. Antivirus software can scan your device and detect malware and other malicious programs, it also provides a protective barrier against typical viruses and exploits.
Keeping your operating system up to date is one of the best ways to make sure your device stays as secure as possible. Manufacturers release regular updates and security fixes for their devices and software, so keeping updated will get you all of the newest fixes.
Keep your personal information protected
A lot of websites nowadays try to push you to provide an email or register an account with them. While these websites might want your information for legitimate reasons, oftentimes these websites can be victims of security breaches which means your personal information could be stolen.
If you have to register an account, try to use as minimal information as possible. Creating a special email to use for questionable websites can also be a great way to keep your regular email from getting out and limiting the spam you will receive.
Overall, just try to use common sense while surfing the internet. If an offer sounds ‘too good to be true’ then it probably is. If an email looks a little ‘off’ then question it, and make sure that it’s legitimate before clicking on any links it may provide. Following these tips will help you stay safer while using the internet, and protect your personal information from falling into the wrong hands.