Updated: Jan 14
It would be unwise to try and describe all the bad aspects of the internet. Hackers, viruses, scams, and other threats lurk online. It’s our job to be aware of the dangers and maintain ourselves as secure as possible. Regrettably, many internet users are just unaware of the security of their computers and online activity. They typically use free public Wi-Fi for online shopping, open files from suspicious websites and possibly generate poor passwords because no one wants to bother hacking into my account.
Here you'll find a list of 20 habits you must change immediately.
Sticking to appropriate internet behaviours (and then implementing good ones) are a few things you can do to put yourself in a more secure state on the web.
Don’t stress; here are some of the most dangerous web habits you could break!
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Let's get started.
1. Using the same password for every website is dangerous. A hacker that can get hold of this password can therefore use that password to access your other online accounts. Therefore, consider creating unique passwords for all your online accounts and special long passwords for sensitive accounts, like banking or credit card accounts.
A password manager can aid with FORTIFYING all your private passwords. I recommend NordPass
2. Keep your software updated. You, I, and most users dislike updating software, as it often occurs unexpectedly and disrupts activities. So, most of us typically hit the Defer button, hoping we can ultimately get back to it. But we often do not. Updating your security software is crucial to protecting your devices against malicious threats. If you need help with how often to test for updates, enable the apps to automatically update everything.
3. There are many free software applications online. You may also find websites offering to download paid software for free. Before downloading any of it, it's important to ask why the program is free. Usually, it will collect a lot of information about you, bombard you with advertisements, be stolen (and therefore illegal), or is malware in disguise. It would be best to be very cautious whenever downloading any computer software. Read reviews, ensure the site is legitimate, and have your antivirus installed just in case.
4. Not enabling two-factor authentication. While two-factor authentication makes it very difficult for hackers to access your private files and emails, many people have yet to use this terrific security feature. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your account and is available on many services, including Gmail, Google Drive, Apple s iCloud, Twitter, and Facebook.
5. Display Protection on your mobile Display protection, either by a pattern, passphrase, or PIN, code, is required as long as your phone remains with you, even for a moment. If you fail to install the screen lock, anyone can easily install malware or spyware without your knowledge. Whenever possible, enable remote location and privacy clearing so that if someone steals your phone, all your confidential information can be easily deleted remotely. Plus, download good virus protection and VPN.
6. No computer password. Most people store more private information and data on their computers than anywhere else but fail to take any measures to protect it. Don't let someone install spyware or steal your personal information. Set a password on your computer and lock it when you leave, even for a moment.
7. Pay attention to updates for anti-virus and anti-malware software. Although it is a bad digital habit not to install updates, not using any software that protects you from viruses can be worse. So, now is a great time to allocate resources to malware protection. Good news if you're already a user of NordVPN, we include a Threat Protection service in all of our subscriptions, which protects you from Internet attacks.
8. Back-Up Data You want to save as much data as possible on your device's hard drive, so you sync your files to the cloud. It would be best if you relied on something other than the cloud storage capabilities provided by your service provider. Most cloud storage services can access your stored files. They are also at risk of cyberattacks and data breaches, which may cause your sensitive data to get into inappropriate hands. You can prevent that by protecting your files before uploading them to the cloud to secure the safety of your critical data, no matter what. Use simple data encryption devices, such as NordLocker, to safeguard your secrets.
9. Clicking on links in strange emails is a good example of bad online behaviour. There is a great deal of hacking and malware that results in people receiving strange emails. This is phishing, and more often than one could suspect, it happens. The purpose of unauthorised emails is to lure users into visiting fraudulent websites. From there, hackers can easily insert malware on their target's computer or leak their passwords, credit card information, and other sensitive data. Therefore, the lesson here is straightforward: if you don t know or trust the source, don't click on the link.
10. Opening links in emails This is questionable online behaviour. A great deal of cybercrime and spyware is successful due to a person opening an email out of a stranger. This is called phishing, and it takes place far more often than not than one could expect. The purpose of phishing emails is to entice victims to click on links on doubtful sites. From there, hackers can easily install malware on their computers or steal their passwords, credit card information, and other sensitive information. So the bottom line is that if you do not trust the source, do not click on that link.
11. HTTP vs HTTPS sites What a difference an s can make. If you're not checking the URLs for web addresses when browsing the Internet, now's the time to begin doing it. The prefix HTTP in the address of a website means that you're not connecting to a secure site, allowing hackers to sniff out your private information. This is particularly important when you need to provide confidential or payment information over the Internet. To safely browse online, secure your browser with HTTPS, indicated by https://. Nevertheless, if you still desire to access insecure sites, install the NordVPN browser extension first. It will protect your HTTP traffic with strong encryption.
12. Checking your bank account on public Wi-Fi is quite vulnerable. Websites on public Wi-Fi networks are often not protected by SSL or other forms of protection, which makes them very susceptible to computer security breaches and similar unethical behaviour. When logging onto public Wi-Fi, do not check personal data, especially if it's personally or financially related. Or better yet, get a VPN service and keep your communications safe even when logged onto public Wi-Fi.
13. Clicking on virus warning pop-ups When visiting certain websites, you may confront pop-ups claiming to have found malware or viruses on your computer. Don't click them, as they will more often than not attempt to install malware or adware on your device.
14. Using “123456” as your password. While we need to be aware of the need for strong, unique passwords for our information, the default passwords in data breaches are 123456 and password. Please do not permit hackers to access and steal your personal information by simply using a 123456 password as your current password. Make your long password using lower capitals, case numbers and special characters to provide you with an unbreakable password.
15. Downloading files from sketchy sites Downloading files from doubtful sites Downloading free illegal movies, games, and applications is not cool, and it's one of the easiest methods to acquire malware. Be very careful on sites you don't trust; better to stay away.
16. Weak Wi-Fi password Even if your Wi-Fi password is not sturdy, you may be vulnerable to hacking if your network is compromised. Cybercriminals can get in and look at your info if hackers invade your network. The passwords generated by this method will be easy to apply and remember. You can use the words of that special song you love or construct your phrase and turn it into your password, employing characters and numbers. An example would be 1camp.MVpiN. The string of characters can be turned into a password. A word of warning here make sure you note your new password on your modem; many times, I go to people’s houses, and they have forgotten the password on their modem. Having good virus protection on your devices is also the key.
17. Agreeing to all terms of software installation. Reading licensing agreements every time you download and install an app is a real nuisance. No wonder you're thus irritated that you begin by clicking Agree without carefully reading what's written. Yet it would help if you made an effort to read at least a subset of the licensing terms making it your new habit.By consenting to the terms without reading them, you may be permitting the software to perform many things: collect information about you, listen to telephone conversations, install additional software you do not need, and so on.
18. Dismissing privacy concerns. If you have a gut feeling that somebody may be watching you through your webcam, you're not being paranoid. Like spy programs, hacking and webcam exploitation happen every day, but we still need to become accustomed to taking all the warning signs seriously. If you think somebody is surreptitiously spying on you, cover your camera. It's essential to be careful that your camera hasn't been compromised to learn what to do due to this situation.
19. Thinking your smartphone is inherently secure. As you always carry your mobile device, it automatically knows you better than a diary or any living person. So why do you ignore your smartphone security? With so much sensitive information available on your smartphone, securing your mobile traffic should be the first thing you do if you acquire a new phone. First, manage your privacy settings. Add lock screen protection and download virus protection like AVG and an app such as NordVPN for your Apple iPhone or Android device.
20. Not using a VPN when using public Wi-Fi. Public Wi-Fi that's unprotected is infamously risky; you already know that. Why don't you connect securely? To learn more, read up on the dangers of open networks. Security issues that arise from sharing your connection without a VPN need to be guarded against. By not using NordVPN cybercriminals can easily hack them. NordVPN protects your information with strong encryption and plenty of other security features to prevent anybody who is a cyber threat from confounding you, annoying advertisements, malware, and more security threats. Even with hard work, overcoming online habits may take time and patience. But once you set your mind, it will become a natural propensity. Before long, you won't even be able to picture a life without a VPN, password manager, and cautious review of every email.