Let’s face it. Working online has its perks but there are times when you can’t help but wonder if your identity is safe or not due to the number of scams and cybercrime cases that happen online. The good news is, working online doesn’t have to be risky as long as you take security measures into account. You don’t need any special training or education to protect yourself and your privacy online. All you need is a little knowledge and preparation, and you’ll be good to go.
1. Passwords And Usernames
One of the easiest ways for cybercriminals to steal your valuable information is through passwords and usernames. While it may seem very easy, most people usually use common usernames such as their name or surname which makes it easier for cybercriminals to guess. Others use small words which are easily guessed especially if you or someone else also uses it as their password. So what should you do?
You can give yourself an edge by using passwords that are at least eight characters long and contain numbers, letters (uppercase and lowercase), and symbols. This way, even if a cybercriminal does get hold of your password, it’ll be very difficult for them to guess.
2. Hide Your Real Location
Another way to protect your privacy online is by making sure that cybercriminals can’t trace you back. One of the ways they do this is by tracking your IP address which contains vital information such as your location, internet service provider (ISP), and computing device.
To protect yourself, try using a virtual private network that can mask your IP address. As the experts at the VPN Laboratory say because there is so much freedom on the internet, it’s likely that some people will try to use it with malicious intent. A VPN is a great solution for this because it can encrypt your internet traffic, so even if someone intercepts it, they won’t be able to read it.
The good news is there are a lot of options to choose from. You can go for a free one, but paid ones offer better speeds and security. But regardless of which option you pick, make sure it has a no-logs policy so your browsing history won’t be exposed.
3. Protect Your Hardware
Even if you’re tech-savvy and know how to protect yourself online, you should also remember that there are always other ways for cybercriminals to get their hands on your information. For instance, they can easily hack into your hardware and get what they need from there.
So instead of leaving the devices unlocked, why not protect them with a password as well? It may seem a hassle having to type in a password each time you want to use your laptop or phone but it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind and security. Setting up a lock screen is also a good idea because it prevents other people from looking at your notifications and checking out your apps.
If you think it’ll be too much work to type in a password for each device, you can use fingerprint scanners instead which are more efficient and secure than using usernames and passwords.
4. Keep Everything Updated
Another way cybercriminals get hold of people’s information is by using software vulnerabilities to their advantage. Basically, they can exploit these holes and install malware on your device.
To avoid this, make sure you update your software regularly. It doesn’t matter if the updates are for Microsoft Office or Adobe Reader, just make it a habit to update everything on your device every time new patches are released. If possible, choose automatic updates because that way you’ll be able to save time and effort.
This way, your devices will be more secure because cybercriminals won’t be able to exploit vulnerabilities that have already been patched up. Plus, you’ll avoid unpleasant surprises like having your files encrypted or malware installed on your device without you knowing it.
5. Be Careful When You Browse
Finally, be extra careful when you browse the internet. A lot of cyber threats are transmitted through spam email so it’s important to avoid opening unsolicited emails even if they seem legitimate because it could lead to ransomware or phishing scams. Criminals use spam emails as lures because they often contain attachments that can install malware onto your devices. If you want to open an email, make sure the sender is someone you know and not a random person because it’s likely to be spam.
If you’re planning to work online and want to be safe, make sure you take the necessary steps so your personal information will stay protected. Not only will you be able to feel safer while browsing the web, but you’ll also have less worry when checking your emails or working on your device. The internet is a great place where people can work, do business, and earn a living. With these useful tips, you’ll be able to limit distractions and make the most of your time online.