What is online security?

Browsing online safely is essential.

But what is online security? It refers to the practices and strategies used to protect people from online theft, fraud and other digital threats.

It involves a combination of factors, including installing anti-virus software, knowing the rules and threats online and adopting safe browsing practices.

When using the Internet, we often expose ourselves to possible online threats. Such as:

  • Identity theft,
  • Data breach,
  • Malware and viruses,
  • Phishing emails and scams,
  • Fake websites,
  • Inappropriate content,
  • Cyberbullying,
  • Faulty privacy settings.

Internet safety tips

New technologies are very useful, but they also bring new threats to your online security. That’s why we’re sharing with you some essential tips for your online security:

1. keep your device up to date and activate the Firewall

2. Check that you are using a secure connection

Using public Wi-Fi is not recommended, but sometimes it is unavoidable, leaving you vulnerable to various attacks. Our advice is that if you are using public Wi-Fi, avoid carrying out personal transactions that use confidential data.

If you need to carry out such transactions, we advise using a virtual private network or VPN. A VPN will generate an encrypted tunnel between your device and the destination.

3. Choose strong passwords and don’t reuse them

When it comes to cybersecurity, we know that passwords are one of the biggest weaknesses.

Users usually choose passwords that are easy to remember and use the same password for several services, which is a big mistake.

This practice facilitates the work of hackers, who, when they discover your repeated password on various platforms, can easily access sensitive personal data, such as bank details.

To avoid this risk, create a unique password for each website or social network.

But what is a strong password?

  1. It must be at least 10 characters long;
  2. It must combine characters: lowercase letters, uppercase letters, symbols and numbers;
  3. Avoid the obvious, such as using numbers in sequence (“1234”) or personal information such as your name and date of birth.

Sometimes it’s difficult to create a strong password, and a password manager can help.

For example, Google offers a password manager, which is an application that stores and generates strong passwords, which will be stored in an encrypted database and locked by a master password.

Other applications: Bit Warden, Dashlane, KeePass (free) 

4. Activate two-factor identification (2FA)

It is an authentication method that asks users to provide two or more forms of identification to access an online account, resources and data.

For example, instead of just asking for a username and password, two-factor identification asks for an additional step, such as :

  1. An extra code is sent to the user’s phone or e-mail address;
  2. Personal security questions;
  3. A fingerprint or other biometric information, such as facial recognition.
  4. Rotary code generator (ex: Google Authenticator)

5. Verify that the sites look reliable

It’s important to check that the site you’re on is secure, especially when it comes to online commerce websites.

How do I know if the website is secure?

  1. Check the security/SSL certificate. That is, check that the URL begins with “HTTPS” (the “S” stands for “secure”) and that it has a padlock icon in the address bar.
  2. Text that does not contain spelling and grammar mistakes.
  3. Images that are not pixelated and are correctly adjusted to the screen.
  4. Check the online payment methods – legitimate online commerce websites only use ATM references, credit or debit cards and PayPal. If there are other payment methods, the website is probably fraudulent.

6. Watch out for suspicious clickable links

Nowadays, we receive a lot of emails and messages with suspicious links. In other words, a careless click could expose your data online or infect your device with malware. So don’t click on links in emails that you don’t expect.

It’s essential to browse online consciously and avoid certain types of content.

Therefore, check that the email is legitimate before clicking on a link or opening attachments.

7. Review privacy settings and data policies

Personal information can be valuable to marketers. That is, keep your data private, and read the privacy settings and data policies before accepting them.

8. Use a good antivirus and keep it updated

Finally, it is essential to use a quality antivirus. The aim is to protect your devices and data and block common threats such as viruses and malware.

Antivirus: Bit Defender, Windows Defender, Malwarebytes Free

After all, it is possible to surf without risk! We hope these online safety tips can help you.

Pay attention to the websites you enter, use strong passwords and keep your antivirus up to date – these are some of the practices that will allow you to enjoy the online world.

Also, find out how important it is to make backups of your company’s servers!

If you need a support team, MD3 has a team specializing in online security, which guarantees a constant monitoring service for its products. Contact us!