How to be (a little) safer online

Every single thing you do on your computer or smartphone can be watched by anyone who knows how. You have to be very careful because now everything is connected to you.
Internet is a marvelous invention. It has made it possible for people worldwide to connect and have all the information in their palms. But also Internet is dangerous. It has lots of threats and constant dangers in every single corner of it.

Is your data private?

No, it is not. Every single thing you do on your computer or smartphone can be watched by anyone who knows how. You have to be very careful because now everything is connected to you. People may be able to see where you are, where you live, where you go, and who you go with.

Is the information accurate?

Usually, the Internet has all the answers and all the information you need. But you have to double-check every single thing you see and read because false information is easier to found and more comfortable to believe.

How can we make it better?

We have to do something to change where (as a society) we are going. In the next couple of lines, I write some of the steps we can take to improve our safety while surfing the web.

Internet Basic Safety Rules

  • Keep personal information as professional and limited as possible.
    • Be conscious of what you put online. Check pictures, information, names, addresses in every single post you make.
  • Check your privacy settings in every single account you have
    • Check privacy settings in your accounts and modify them to adapt them as they best suit your needs.
  • Practice Safe Browsing
    • Be careful of what you do online. Check the website you are about to enter. Be sure the website has SSL or TLS enabled by checking if the address starts with “HTTPS:”
  • Make sure your internet connection is secure.
    • It’s preferable to avoid connecting to public access points. Connecting to public Wi-Fi makes your traffic easily available to anyone eavesdropping in there. If you have to connect to a public network, try to do it with a VPN or be conscious of what you do. Avoid entering a password or going to private sites such as social networks or banking.
  • Be entirely sure of the things you download
    • When you download something from a website, be sure that it is indeed the file you want. Many malicious websites will make malware act as the file you were intended to download. If you know how to do it, check the integrity of a file by comparing the hash of the downloaded file with the hash on the website.
  • Follow good password creation and management.
    • Be sure to have strong passwords in every single account you have. You can use a password manager to be able to remember only one password but being able at the same time to have strong passwords. Avoid using easy-to-guess passwords such as your birthday, common used passwords, pet names, etc. Follow best practices, such as long passwords containing lowercase, uppercase, symbols, and numbers.
  • Purchase only from secure sites
    • Be entirely sure that you are purchasing from the correct website. Double-check that the site has HTTPS, and be sure you are not putting your information on a phishing site.
  • Be careful with what you post.
    • Again. Be sure you are not compromising yourself or your information when you post a picture, where you are or what you are doing. Most of the newer phones embed a geotag location in the metadata of the image. Someone with a little bit of knowledge can quickly found where the picture has been taken.
  • Be careful with who you meet online.
    • Usually, the weakest link in the internet chain is the human behind the device so. Whenever you meet someone new online, be sure to know the person before sharing personal information, meeting in person, or purchasing from them.
  • Keep your antivirus up to date.
    • Usually, computers automatically do this. Just be sure your antivirus is still valid (if you purchased a license) and regularly perform full scans to your device to ensure you don’t have malware in your device.

Thank you so much for reading! If you have any comments, opinions or really anything (good or bad) to say, feel free to comment.


Published on 3 May 2021

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