2017 was the year where everybody had to deal with internet security problems. Private information leaks – passwords and emails influenced the outcome of American presidential election. The United States Congress decided to overturn privacy rules, and we have still yet to find out what will happen to Net Neutrality. Finally, recent studies have revealed that security protocols of Wi-Fi networks are also in danger.
It’s no news that we rely on technology too much. However, too much reliance can be a bad thing, especially if we overlook potential threats. That’s why ensuring our safety in a virtual world is more important than ever. Not having to worry the next time you connect to a new network is a great feeling. 2018 is probably the best time to consider making some serious changes. Below you will find a list which should be a good starting point.
Passwords are the first thing that protects your information. So the natural thing would be taking them seriously. For some reason, though, quite a few of us tend not to care too much and don’t think when coming up with new ones. If you choose your name and year of birth as a password for multiple accounts, hackers can take advantage of it.
Ideally, you should create unique passwords. Include symbols, capital letters, numbers. You likely have multiple accounts. Social media, emails, bank information, etc. It all adds up.
If you have trouble remembering these combinations, then write them down on a piece of paper. Or get a password manager. Plenty are for free, and they will make everything simple. Store all the information in one place, and set a master password. That’s all you will need to remember.
While passwords are the cornerstone of internet security, they are only the first step. We’ve reached a point in time when passwords just don’t cut it anymore.
Whenever there is a chance, you should make use of two-factor authentication. The likes of Google and Apple are already doing it. And plenty of other companies are joining them.
The idea is simple. Once you enter a password, you will need to get an authentication code. Whether it will be a text message or an e-mail, your data will be in better hands.
Everything should be up-to-date
We often postpone new updates for our phones or computers and wait until the last minute. However, these habits should disappear. Updates happen for good reasons, and as you have probably guessed, security is one of them. Skipping or delaying will only make everything worse.
If you looked through the internet, you would find a lot of stories where a couple of people managed to lock down systems in hospitals or other institutions. In most cases, the fault lies in negligence of certain individuals who were supposed to update the system.
Use virtual private networks
Thanks to the Government’s decision, internet providers can now collect information about their users. It’s no surprise that everybody is interested in keeping everything secret. We have a VPN for that.
A virtual private network hides your IP address and browsing history. Nobody, not even your ISP, will be able to gather data about you.
Virtual private networks are easy to use, even though the name might suggest otherwise. Moreover, most of them are available on every platform. Before you decide to select your VPN provider, read about features they offer.
Whenever you connect to a public Wi-Fi, you don’t really consider the risks. Most people in the area are doing it anyway, so there shouldn’t be any harm, right?
The situation is opposite. There are plenty of methods that hackers use to take advantage of those browsing on public internet networks. By getting inside your device, they will be able to access your passwords, e-mails, etc.
It seems that the only way to prevent all of this from happening would be refusing to use such networks. But it’s not happening. So the next option would be getting yourself a VPN. You’ll be able to browse without any worries.