words Alexa Wang
The Internet is arguably one of the most important inventions of the 20th century and it brings people plenty of benefits. However, not everything is so peachy in the ever-evolving online world, which is riddled with scam artists and bad guys that want your money.
Users start thinking of enhancing their internet safety for different reasons, some just follow the better safe than sorry rule while others have experienced unpleasant consequences of carelessness. If you are looking for ways to protect your privacy and keep your information secure, here is what you need to do.
Create Stronger Passwords
Even though it’s definitely much easier to use the same password for multiple accounts, do not do it as it can cost you dearly. There are different techniques on how to create strong (and long) passwords you can remember, these strategies range from incorporating unique modifiers to using special managers. The point is that If you are focused on improving your online security, you can’t make it without truly secure passwords regardless of whether you need one for your bank account or an online shop. Below we highlight 4 characteristics of what experts call a decent password.
- Uniqueness – we guess, this element is pretty self-explanatory. If you use one single password for all your logins just because it’s awesome or you are afraid to mix things up, your privacy (and money) are at great risk. If a thief cracks one of your social media accounts, he or she will get direct access to far more important stuff including your bank credentials and emails.
- Length – one does not need to be a math wiz to figure out that the longer the password, the more difficult is to hack. Experts suggest at least 12 characters but 20 is a good number for your most precious accounts.
- Diversity – even though many people find it frustrating, a strong password has to include capital letters, numbers, characters, and special symbols.
- Senselessness – a negative thing in the usual context, it’s a great characteristic of a strong password. Remember, if yours make sense, change it immediately.
Secure Your Home Network
Confused? My home is my castle is a great saying but in the case of your home Wi-Fi, it works only if you have secured your borders. Start with creating a strong password as described above and make sure to hide your network from neighbors and hackers so it doesn’t appear on the list of available connections. It’s also a good idea to create special access for guests rather than inviting them all to use your main network. The great bulk of quality Wi-Fi routers will allow you to do it on the same router.
Be Alert on VPN Scams
Over recent years, more and more people started to use virtual private networks but unfortunately, the VPN market is loaded with all kinds of scam artists. Now we get the situation when the great bulk of available VPNs do exactly the opposite of what they are meant to do, from logging user data and selling it to 3rd parties to leaking user IP addresses.
This is not to say you can’t use this incredibly convenient service intended to protect your privacy, the point is to learn how to tell a trustworthy provider from a scam, fake, or malware – and avoid getting trapped. Here are some useful tips for safe and secure surfing across the vastness of the internet.
- Avoid Free VPNs.
- Always read the fine print as even well-known providers can hide there your (eventual) permission to let them create a botnet on your device, meaning that others can free-ride off your Internet bandwidth.
- Do not fall for great reviews and high ratings you come across on app stores. Instead, research and do your due diligence.
- Consider a too high price as a sure sign of a scam. If you are asked to pay for service more than $100 a year, do not download this app and move to another place.
- Check if the provider’s website is secure. Look for the “s” in the site’s URL as only “HTTPS” sites encrypt the data.
- Do not rush to pay for a lifetime subscription, especially if the price is less than for a standard one-year package. Such VPNs are not necessarily fake but all chances are that after a couple of months, you will deal with downgrade speeds and bandwidth.
It’s never late to take your identity protection and online security seriously but the earlier you make the first step, the better. Do not leave such important things to chance, make your best to protect your privacy.