For some people, online safety is easy. Especially if you’ve grown up on the internet, it’s easy to remember all the different ways to stay safe while surfing the web.
However, if you don’t use the internet much, or you’re older and didn’t grow up online, it’s easy to overlook the things that some people think of as basic protection steps. Fortunately, even if you’re not great with technology, there are some simple things you can do to increase your safety while browsing:
-Password manager sign-up
-Keep personal information private
-Use people search engines
Sign Up for a Password Manager
This is one of the best ways to ensure online safety. With a password manager, you only have to remember one password.
Then, the manager can automatically help you to create incredibly varied and secure passwords for other websites you visit, if you wish.
You can usually change passwords right from your password manager. And many of them will automatically alert you if you have an account on a website that’s recently experienced a data leak. Such an approach is much more secure than using the same password across dozens of websites, or writing down your various passwords.
Keep Your Antivirus Software Up-to-Date
Antivirus software is the first line of defense against various viruses and other threats to your computer. Good antivirus software will detect and stop viruses. And it makes it much safer to use your computer across the internet.
However, because antivirus software is such a useful tool, some scammers will create fake antivirus software that actually installs viruses on your devices. Before downloading an antivirus software, ask someone you know to help you choose the right one.
Check with Someone Before Making Purchases
All sorts of stores exist across the internet. While most of them are legitimate, some are just trying to scam you out of money. If you’ve found a new store where you’re interested in shopping, it’s a good idea to make sure the store you’re dealing with is legitimate.
Your first step should be to do a quick Google search, and see if anyone’s talking about the site in question. If you can’t find anything, ask someone who’s more tech-savvy than you are. If your friend hasn’t heard of the website, he or she may be able to help you find information about it. Or they can help you spot any warning signs on the website itself.
Don’t Post Personal Information
If you don’t know how many tools a tech-savvy person possesses, you may not know what constitutes personally identifying information (PII). Of course, don’t post anything that includes your address or phone number. However, you also shouldn’t give out any information that might let people know where you bank, where you go to school or work, or when you’ll be out of the house.
In addition, take note of security questions that you answer, and make sure not to inadvertently advertise them. For example, if you use the name of your first pet as a security question, don’t let that slip out. By keeping such PII secure, you can better protect yourself from identity theft and other online abuses.
Use a People Search Engine Regularly
No matter what you’re doing online, a people search engine like PeopleFinders can be incredibly helpful for online safety. For example, say you’re going to meetup with someone you met on a site like Craigslist. In that case, you can perform a criminal records check on the other person to try and make sure you’ll be safe.
If you meet a new person and want to start chatting regularly, you can also perform a public records search to try and make sure the person is legitimate. It’s a quick and easy way to check up on anyone you start to get close to, regardless of whether you plan to actually meet in-person.
The internet can seem like a scary place, especially when you don’t have a lot of experience with it. However, whether you’re older, new to the internet, or just not very well-versed in technology, there are simple safeguards you can use to try and make it easier and safer to use.
By exercising caution, you can use the internet to improve your life without having to worry as much about your online safety.
Image attribution: Tierney – stock.adobe.com