6 Ways to Stay Safe While Surfing the Web

6 Ways to Stay Safe While Surfing the Web

Image 01In today’s world, it seems we are always connected. Whether through social media or blog posts and personal websites, our entire lives can be plastered on the Internet. However, even though using the Internet can be a great tool for parents, families, and kids to stay connected, it can also be dangerous. If you’re worried about how safe you are online, take a look at six ways to stay safe while surfing the Web.

Don’t Post Personal Information Online

Whether you have a social media account or not, there are certain suggested fields that you should never complete. Even though connecting with friends and family via social media is fun, it also opens you up to scammers, identity theft, and potential risks associated with your life being online. Never disclose your address, email address, phone number, or social security number on social media. You may trust your friends and family, but that doesn’t mean your account is 100 percent secure or private.

Think Before You Post Online

Updating your status before going on a long trip may seem like a perfectly safe thing to do; however, it can open you up to vandalism, break-ins, and theft. Never trust your social media account to keep your life private. What you post online will not only follow you through life, but it can also mean you allow yourself to be vulnerable to online hackers, attacks, and potentials threats. Be sure to never let your whereabouts be known if you are alone or avoid posting personal information that could put you at potential risk for identity theft.

Also, try to avoid posting too much about any travel plans you may have. This opens you up to potential burglary, should someone know where you live and for how long your home will sit empty.

Invest in Antivirus Software

Perhaps the easiest way to stay safe while surfing the Web is through investing in antivirus software. Hackers and scammers are rampant online, and antivirus software programs can stop malicious programs from downloading onto your computer. If you’re surfing insecure sites online, don’t risk your identity or your personal livelihood. Antivirus software can keep you safe from potential risks that could wipe or damage your computer, make you vulnerable to online hacks, and stop identity theft before it progresses.

Don’t Fall for Scams

Sure, clicking that email promising you money, a winning prize, or a free vacation may seem tempting, but chances are they aren’t true. If you haven’t entered to win a contest, these emails are all but guaranteed to be scams. Not only will they put your computer at risk for potential hacks, but they can make it easier for scammers to get their hands on your credit card information or to get you to send them money. Similarly, be wary of which articles or shared posts on social media are spam. Clicking on spam articles can leave your account in the hands of scammers or those trying to steal your information.

Image 02Shop Secure Sites

Online shopping is easy and convenient. Most people do the majority of their shopping from the comfort of their home. However, using sites that aren’t secure or not set up for online payment can leave you missing money or your credit card information. One of the most crucial ways to stay safe online is to ensure all sites you purchase from are secure. If a site has spam ads, prices that are too good to believe, or not are reputable or stand-alone store, be wary to input your credit card information. Similarly, make sure you read all site guidelines before purchasing. Discount stores or knockoff websites often seem to have good prices, but can really end up charging you hundreds more than expected.

Set the Highest Privacy Setting

Even though you may only have friends and family on your social media account, that doesn’t mean others can’t see your every move. Lax privacy settings can set you up for security issues online. When creating or updating a social media account, make sure you take the time to look over the privacy settings and guidelines. It’s imperative to keep your posts, check-ins, pictures, and messages private from those you don’t know. Similarly, avoid accepting friends you don’t know or have never met in person. Not everyone online is who they say they are.

Comments

  1. A.L. says:

    I feel like antivirus software like Norton and most others don’t really do anything more than the Windows defender that comes on my pcs. I know how to clear my cache, use history, unnecessary files that are on my computer and use safe sites. I spent so much money on Norton and McAfee(mostly on Norton). Now that I don’t use either I don’t notice any difference.

  2. These are great tips and you never can be too careful these days. I cringe every time I see people overshare across social media.

  3. G K says:

    These are all great tips. We use anti-virus software and other programs to make sure we’re safe online.

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