There is a certain amount of liberation that comes with the revolutionary steps we, as a society, are taking, but there should also be a sufficient amount of caution to be considered as well.
While it would be wrong to be fearful of every single click you make online, you do need to be aware of the genuine dangers that exist. It’s now the wild wild west, but it would be safe to say that the scammers that operate online have become a far more organized and effective threat and one that should be mitigated as much as practically possible.
With that in mind, here are some golden rules and insights to consider every time you go online.
Always Use Anti-Virus Protection
This should be a given, but you’d be surprised how many people choose to go online without some form of anti-virus protection. This is either through choice or ignorance, but it isn’t a policy we’d endorse.
The use of such software is highly recommended, especially for those who conduct their financial matters online, which is pretty much all of us. If you are checking your online banking accounts via a device or method that doesn’t even have a basic anti-virus system or firewall software, then you are taking a monumental risk.
Use a Password Manager Service
Adhering to a robust password protocol is advised. This means, at the very least, not using the same password for all your accounts and preferably not a password that is easily guessed by nefarious individuals and systems that know precisely how to crack your ‘code.’
If you use a password manager, you are putting another barrier in front of a potential scammer and additionally making your life easier. A password managing service makes it easier for you to effectively run the many accounts that we all now have and makes it that little bit harder for people to get to your key information.
Make the Most of Additional Online Tools
If you run a company or office, then you need to be very wary about the protection of your key data and that of any individuals who access it. This may mean you need to better vet any potential employees that you bring in to work for you.
One way of helping in this regard is to use services that run checks on those you may consider bringing on board. There are many strong brands and providers that offer these services; for example, you can learn more on peoplelooker here, as they are one of the most highly-regarded players in the field.
Don’t Access Sites and Accounts from More Than a Couple of Devices
Get into a pattern of only using specific devices and home computers when accessing accounts and services that could be compromised. So, for instance, don’t go to your online banking services from your work computer; only do so from home.
Always log out from these sites when you are done and consider using VPN services to help offer you additional protection when using your mobile devices; this will help encrypt your usage if you happen to be accessing potentially unsecured wi-fi systems.
Adopt Two-Step Verification and Don’t Overshare Information
When we sign up for new services or sites, we may be asked to provide information; when doing so, always exercise caution. If something seems off or dubious, log out and close your browser window.
Adopt services that offer two-step verification, which shields you from potential harm.
Sometimes it will be perfectly relevant for a site or service to ask for crucial info, from banking information to your home address and even social security numbers, but on other occasions, it will not be necessary. Always ask yourself if the request being made is a suitable one, given the circumstances.
Do Not Click On Unsolicited Messages and Emails
Often we are bombarded with junk mail and spam messages, and we need to be on our guard. Never click on links within unsolicited text and WhatsApp messages. Ignore, report and delete.
Similarly, when you receive an email that isn’t related to your usual stream of correspondence, leave it well alone.
If Something Is Too Good To Be True, It Almost Always Is
If you, like most of us, now do most of your shopping online, then you no doubt look to find the best deals around. That is one of the major selling points of online shopping, the ability to search out the best price and to do so with relative ease.
However, this is something of a double-edged sword. Be wary of sites and services that seem too good to be true, perhaps offering goods at prices that don’t seem plausible. Additionally, always check reviews of online outlets to get a better idea of the quality of service they offer.
This might not be a case of finding out if an online store is in some way criminally motivated but more a chance to find out if their delivery schedules are poor or if the quality of the goods they sell is up to scratch.
Here we’d strongly advise you to read reviews at comparison services of review platforms instead of individual reviews posted on random pages, which may be questionable or dubious, to say the least.