Internet Security: What Is It and How Expats Can Protect Themselves Online
In this digital era, reliance on the internet is increasing. The internet is becoming almost a necessity as people use it daily for work and personal tasks such as banking, shopping, communication, entertainment and more. Devices and gadgets are increasingly becoming smart using technology to connect over the internet. Internet security is key.
With all these going on over the internet, huge amounts of data including personal, sensitive and valuable data is involved. And, this raises a need to secure this data. This article is aimed at helping you understand internet security: what it is, why it should matter and how you can protect yourself while using the internet.
What is internet security?
Internet security is a part of computer security and cybersecurity that focuses on security for transactions and activities done over the internet. It covers topics such as network security, browser security and online behavior. Internet security involves employing different security tactics to protect online transactions and activities from threats and attacks.
Why is it important?
While the internet makes your life convenient, it also comes with risks and vulnerabilities. It may be secure and private, but there are malicious people out there looking to cash in on the data that you share over the internet. Without a proper internet security strategy, you are exposing yourself to hackers and intruders who can steal your data, identity, cause financial and property damage among other negative things. If you are to access the internet and use it securely, internet security is something you shouldn’t take lightly. Hackers are out there devising more advanced tactics and techniques to attack, and everyone is a target – including you. Adequate internet security protects you from:
- Data theft: Your photos, videos and files are at risk if you have no adequate security. In the hands of malicious people, this data can be used to exploit you financially or sold to be used for illicit purposes.
- Identity theft: Without enough security, fraudsters can easily get a hold of your personal and sensitive information such as credit card information. With the information in their hands, they can assume your identity and do a lot of damage with your name. Fraudsters have been known to take out loans, apply for government benefits, and do online purchases and more with their victims’ identities.
- Computer damage: Some hackers are interested in disrupting your operations. They infect your computer with viruses, malware and malicious software to encrypt files and render your computer unusable. They then demand money so that they can send decryption keys for you to get back your files.
How you can protect yourself
Here are several ways that you can protect yourself from malicious people when using the internet:
Keep off unsecured public Wi-Fi
While public Wi-Fi can be a great way to save money on internet fees, they are unsecured. Unfortunately, unsecured networks are prone to predators and malicious people who can listen and see what you are doing online. If you must use public Wi-Fi, ensure that you use a VPN to access the internet. VPNs work at encrypting the data that you share on the internet, which makes it harder to be seen or stolen. To choose the best VPN, consider checking lists of VPNs to identify the one that has been used the most with best results. A quick search on the list of best VPNs can unlock numerous reviews that you can use to choose the best.
Observe password best practices
Make your passwords easy to remember but hard to guess by incorporating uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Do not use the same password for different accounts and always ensure that you change them often. In addition, use multi-factor authentication where you have to take an extra step to verify your identity when logging in to your accounts. Also, never reveal your passwords to others or write them down.
Keep your devices updated
Manufacturers keep updating software, programs and browsers from time to time. These updates mostly aim to cover vulnerabilities and security holes that might have been detected earlier. Keeping your devices updated ensures that you have the most secure version at all times.
Take a second look on emails or links that seem suspicious
Hackers use techniques such as sending emails or links that appear genuine in a bid to lure you to click on them. Then it reigns havoc the moment that you click on them, infecting your system with malware. If an email seems suspicious, refrain from opening or clicking any link.
Be careful on the websites that you share personal information
Ensure that you only trust websites that start with ‘https’. The s at the end shows that your connection is encrypted. Even then, make sure that you don’t save your personal information to any website.
You probably spend a fair share of your time on the internet. For this reason, your security and privacy when accessing the internet is critical. The last thing you want is to start dealing with major issues caused by your negligence. Ensure that you use the above measures to ensure internet security. In addition, educate your family on the same to ensure that you all stay secure.