INTERNET SECURITY: When you connect to the internet, you expose yourself to a number of security risks. Because of the increased frequency of security breaches on the internet, internet security is a hot topic these days. The recent attack on companies and governments by organized hacking groups stealing valuable information from customers and clients has exacerbated the issue of internet security.
To be honest, most of us are defenceless against some internet security threats, particularly organized hacking groups. This is because these groups do not directly attack you; instead, they hack into the networks of organizations and governments in search of security flaws that they can exploit to steal information, which could include your personal information stored with the organization, such as your email and password, address, banking information, and credit card information.
We’ll go over some common sense tips for lowering your security risks while browsing the internet and using internet services. It is important to note that your operating system, browser, firewall, and antivirus software will all play a role in your internet security, but you must also help yourself, as we are often the weakest link.
Install the most recent operating system.
Windows 10 is the most recent version of the Windows operating system. Upgrading or installing Windows 10 improves your internet security. Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 are still being updated, so as long as you have the most recent update, you are safe.
Install the most recent internet browsers.
Internet browsers allow you to browse the internet. Browsers, like most software, have inherent flaws or loopholes known as security bugs. Internet hackers can exploit these security flaws to cause malicious damage.
The most recent browsers will fix security flaws found in older versions of the browser. The most recent versions of your favourite browsers will also have improved security features that will increase your internet security.
There are numerous internet browsers to choose from, including Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Opera, Opera Mini, and others, with Firefox and Chrome receiving widespread praise as the most secure.
Download latest browser security updates
Even the most recent internet browsers are riddled with security flaws. Internet hackers can also take advantage of these bugs. Browser vendors release security updates on a regular basis to address specific security flaws. This is usually available for free on the website of the internet browser vendor. Most web browsers will automatically check for updates and notify you when they become available.
You should download the most recent internet browser security updates from the vendor’s website as soon as you hear about them or receive an alert. Having the most recent browser versions will greatly improve your internet security.
Install a Firewall
Hackers are constantly on the lookout for vulnerable computer systems to infiltrate. Their goal may be to monitor your activity and wait for critical information such as your credit card PIN or passwords. Your security is jeopardized once they have your PIN or password. They may also want to use your computer to hide their tracks when attacking other internet users, organizations, and governments.
Installing a good firewall will reduce the risk of such attacks on your security. A firewall creates a security wall around your computer, monitoring incoming and outgoing traffic and alerting you to any suspicious activity. Firewalls also keep detailed logs of your computer’s activities.
Some good firewalls are free, while others must be purchased, and still, others are included as part of your antivirus software.
Install the latest antivirus
Antivirus software protects your computer from virus threats, which are common on the internet these days. Every day, new virus threats emerge on the internet; to stay safe, you must use the most up-to-date antivirus software. You should also install the most recent antivirus virus definition files (antivirus updates). This will ensure that your antivirus software is up to date and capable of dealing with the most recent virus threats, resulting in improved internet security.
Most antivirus software will automatically update their antivirus definitions files on a daily basis, whenever you go online, or as specified in the antivirus settings, protecting your PC from the latest virus and internet security threats.
There are numerous good antivirus programs to choose from, including ZoneAlarm, AVG, Avast, Kaspersky, VIPRE, and others.
Malwarebytes Premium, for example, is an excellent anti-malware program for protecting again malware and spyware.
Make certain that you purchase and download the antivirus directly from the company’s website, or that you purchase your antivirus software from authorized sources. The majority of antivirus software available in Nigerian markets is counterfeit and out of date.
Despite the fact that some of them are labelled as 2013 or even 2014 versions, they are out of date and will not be able to handle 2006 internet security threats. As a result, where you purchase your antivirus software is critical. Purchasing from a shady source will increase your internet security risks.
Antivirus software is available for free download on the internet. Some antivirus software that is well-known for providing superior internet and PC security include AVG AntiVirus 2016, Kaspersky, and Avast.
your bank account/financial detail is a major target
Antivirus software can protect you from viruses, but it cannot protect you from yourself. Identity theft is a thriving industry today, and one of the most sought-after pieces of information by internet fraudsters is bank account/financial information.
Here are some common-sense tips to help you improve your internet security:
Don’t follow links in an email soliciting personal/private information
You may occasionally receive an email informing you of a problem with your bank account, ATM card, Debit card, Credit card, email account, social networking sites, Liberty reserve account, or PayPal account, and instructing you to visit a website to update your account details. You may be informed that you have won a lottery or a promotion, and you will be instructed to enter private information in order to redeem your winnings.
Such emails should be ignored because they are most likely internet scams. These types of security threats are known as phishing threats, and they usually require you to fill out a form that includes fields for entering your financial information, PINs, or passwords. Falling for an internet scam is one of the most serious mistakes you can make on the internet.
One way to recognize internet scam emails is that they will give the impression that it is urgent and that you will lose a lot if you do not act quickly. As a general rule, never enter sensitive information on a site you are unfamiliar with.
Don’t download from a site you do not trust
Nothing you see on the internet should be downloaded. Some websites include malware in their downloads. Malware or spyware could be embedded in a screen saver, porn photo/video, or free software, so be cautious when downloading from the internet. A good internet security tip is to only download from reputable websites such as CNET.
Don’t shop at online sites you are not familiar with
Be cautious when shopping on the internet, just as you would when downloading. Some online shopping sites are only interested in your credit/debit card information. Some will offer unbelievable prices in order to entice you to enter your financial information. Only shop at reputable websites. When shopping on the internet, use caution.
Do not reveal your credit/debit card PIN to anybody, not even bank officials.
Identity fraud is a major security risk on the internet today, and you are the only person who can protect yourself from such threats.
Do not use your email credentials for opening other accounts
One common blunder is using one’s email credentials to open another account. For example, when creating a Facebook account, some users will enter their email address and the password they use to access their email as their Facebook password. They do the same thing with less trustworthy websites.
The implication of this security flaw is that if your Facebook account is compromised, your email will be compromised as well. As a result, make sure your email password is unique and not shared with any other internet services.
Have one email for serious communication
Because most internet services now require your email address when registering for services online, it is a good idea to set aside one email for serious business and professional communication and leave others open for fun and leisure. For serious business, use the professional email. It is not a problem to open multiple emails because you can do so for free.
Do not share too much on social media services
Some people believe that social media has given us the opportunity to become celebrities. However, you should be cautious about what you post on social media sites. Do not accept anyone as a friend simply because they request it; instead, remember what friends truly mean and keep it in the back of your mind when selecting a friend. Check your privacy settings and make sure you’re not sharing too much on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and other social media platforms.
your passwords and PINs are major targets
Passwords and PINs are the most sought-after pieces of information by fraudsters; protect your password and never reveal it to anyone. Using authorized channels, change your PIN and password. Never change your PIN through an email. Your internet security will be jeopardized if you reveal your email address to anyone.
Passwords and PINs should also be changed on a regular basis. It is recommended that you have your teeth cleaned every six months.
Your internet security is determined by the software you install on your computer and your internet browsing habits. If you perform well in both, your internet security will be assured.
The following are some internet security threats to your PC:
Malware: Software that causes malicious damage to your computer or the data stored on it. Malware, for example, can delete important files on your computer without your knowledge. A good antivirus program will protect you from the security risks posed by malware.
Spyware: This type of software steals sensitive information from your computer. A good antivirus program will protect you from the security risks posed by spyware.
Keyloggers capture, record, and transmit your keystrokes to criminals via the internet. This information can then be used to obtain passwords, financial information, and other information.
Screen grabber capture, record, and transmit your clicks to criminals via the internet.
A zero-day attack is one that takes advantage of a security flaw in your internet browser for which no solution has yet been discovered.