Top 7 Internet Safety Rules & What Not to Do Online

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A big percentage of human lives today revolve around the internet, with a survey conducted in 2021 revealing that the average household had more than 25 internet gadgets between 2011 and 2019. Having many online gadgets and accounts increases your risk to cybercriminals. As a result, understanding the following internet safety rules that safeguard you from risks that may damage your gadgets and data is essential.


1.    Understand Privacy Policies and Revise Your Privacy Settings

Hackers can learn about you from your social media usage and browsing history, but you can control your data to counter their malicious moves. Both mobile operating systems and browsers have settings to help you secure your privacy online. 

Social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram feature privacy-enhancing settings. Take time to revise your privacy settings and ensure they are within satisfactory levels. Always read privacy policies before accepting them. Lots of data is used for advertising and marketing reasons in the digital world. As a result, reviewing privacy policies on apps and websites helps you understand how collected data will be used. 

While you can activate private browsing, nothing online is entirely private. Cybercriminals, law enforcement agencies, and website administrators can still access the information you consider private. 

2.     Use a VPN to Secure Your Connection

If you access the internet using public WiFi, you need to understand that public connections are unsecured, and you may not control its security. 

Corporate cybersecurity experts fret about endpoints or the areas where a private network links to the external world. Your local internet connection is your risk endpoint. Ensure your device is secure before connecting to a public network. Always use a VPN connection when accessing sensitive information using public WiFi. Did you know VPNs encrypt all traffic to prevent cybercriminals from accessing your confidential information? Encryption involves mixing up data to restrict access and ensure that only authorized individuals understand it. This privacy strategy alters readable data to ensure it appears random to cybercriminals, making it a form of secret code.

Avoid using public WiFi if you don’t have a reliable VPN. VPN facilitates a secure connection between an internet server and your device. A reliable virtual private network blocks malicious individuals from tracking or accessing your activities online.

3.    Exercise Caution before Clicking

Did you know that a single click can expose your personal information online, infecting your devices with malware or viruses? Always browse the internet consciously and keep off some forms of online content such as spam emails, links from unreliable sources, clickbait, online quizzes.

If you receive a suspicious email, don’t open any attachments or click any links within it. Where possible, avoid opening suspect attachments or links within debatable emails. For example, suppose you receive an email supposedly from your bank. Call the bank directly to confirm the authenticity of the email. When browsing the internet, ensure that links direct you to the relevant topics. For example, a link about VPN should direct you to a VPN information page. If the link opens a clickbait page, then close it immediately. 

4.    Mind Your Posts

The internet doesn’t come with a delete button. Every image or comment you post online could remain there forever, seeing that deleting your original content does not eliminate copies that other people may have. 

Always think deeply before posting anything online. Remember, there is no method of removing any post, comment, or image you could have made by mistake. Don’t post things you would not want your family, friends, or potential employers to see. Limit the amount of personal information you share online. For example, don’t share your contact details, physical address, social media bios, or date and place of birth. If you would not grant your data to strangers, don’t do it online. 

Mind where you post or submit your email address. Always have a secondary email account for subscriptions and email sign-ups separate from what you use for family and friends and the primary email address you use for professional purposes. 

5.    Be Careful when Meeting People Online

Anybody you meet online is not always what they claim to be. Sometimes they may not be genuine, with the popularity of ingenuine social media platforms on the rise by the day. Exercise caution and sense in your online interactions as you would be in real life. 

6.    Use Strong Passwords

Passwords can be weak in internet security because many people choose easy-to-guess characters like numbers and letters. Use strong passwords that include capital and small case numbers, letters, and characters. Ensure they are complex and hard to guess. Use a password manager app to help you manage multiple passwords to avoid forgetting them. 

7.    Practice Safe Online Browsing

In the same way, you wouldn’t walk in a dangerous neighborhood at night and avoid websites that compromise your privacy online. Cybercriminals use clickbait content to lure you. They know that many people are tempted by vague content and will unknowingly use them to attack you. Don’t give hackers an easy opportunity to compromise your data privacy. 

Finally

Mastering these safety rules will help you avoid the numerous risks available online. 


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Balaganesh is a Incident Responder. Certified Ethical Hacker, Penetration Tester, Security blogger, Founder & Author of Soc Investigation.

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