Your guide to internet safety
What is online safety, and how to stay safe online? It is keeping yourself and what you do on the internet securely and anonymous. You do this by using online security features. It would be best to be protected online at all costs in this generation where the online world is taking over. Not only that, but you never know who is monitoring your data or trying to retrieve it for their personal use illegally.
Here we will give some tips to stay safe online. Knowing how to stay safe on the internet is a game-changer, as there’s no more worrying about if your device is getting hacked or not.
At PrivacyCritic, we aim to educate you on staying safe online. We do this by showing you the best tools and software for internet safety and using the internet to its fullest potential. Old or young, it can be hard to find all internet safety facts and how to be safe online. Searching through ten’s of articles to find them can be irritating. PrivacyCritic have provided everything you should know all in one place.
You will never be reading irrelevant articles such as outdated online safety tips as we regularly update our articles. Internet security is not to be taken lightly, and we hope to help you on your journey to a safer digital world.
Security and Privacy: What’s the difference?
Knowing how to stay safe online means knowing the difference between security and privacy. Security and privacy go hand in hand. Therefore, it can be tough to differentiate the two. Here’s our explanation;
Wanting to know and achieve how to stay safe online is Privacy and how much protection you can gain. Privacy is for your identity, financial information, who you interact with, what you search, click on, preferences, etc. Browsing through the internet can be a very personal thing. And just as you wouldn’t want someone to snoop in on your real life, you wouldn’t want that for your online life too. Online Privacy is making sure that everything we’ve just mentioned doesn’t get compromised.
Staying safe online means, you will need to use additional software to do so. This is how security works; it is the steps you will take to achieve online privacy. You do this by using Security software that is designed for your safety and anonymity. Some examples of these software products are, Anti-Malware, VPNs, Anti-Virus. These products can help prevent attacks from hackers and keep your identity and what you do online anonymous.
So, in conclusion, To know how to stay safe online, you must first know what software you will need to use—and staying secure online means always using the products, so your data isn’t jeopardised. As said earlier, security and privacy go hand in hand, and to achieve online privacy, you must use security measures.
15 ways to stay safe online
Now are the ways on how to be safe online. Above, we’ve mentioned what Privacy is, what Security is, and some reasons why you require knowing how to be safe online. We’ve even given some online safety tips. However, this is not enough. So here, we will provide 15 ways of staying safe online and online safety tips.
1. Get a VPN and always use it.
How to stay safe online using a VPN? Firstly, what is a VPN? A Virtual Private Network is a piece of software that allows you online anonymity by masking your IP address that could have been exposed to your ISP or anyone trying to see your location and who you are. It also lets you change your IP address to a place of your choice, allowing you to access sites and content that might not be available in your country. To learn more about VPNs and what they can do, click here, to be directed to our article on VPNs.
2. Use Powerful Anti-malware and Keep It Updated
knowing how to be safe online means knowing powerful Anti-malware software. Anti-malware is software that protects your devices from other malicious software. What the software will do is it will scan your device, either automatically or whenever you want it to, to check if malware may be harbouring somewhere you can’t see.
As there is more and more high-tech anti-malware software all the time, the malware will become stronger to try and breakthrough. Therefore, you must update your anti-malware every time they ask you to.
3. Use Unique Passwords for Every Login
This should be a given. However, you would not believe how many people use the same password for everything, from Facebook to banking; it is highly unsafe to use a password more than twice. So you may tweak it slightly; I have done this in the past. However, it is elementary for hackers to predict a password combination if they already know parts of it.
So here are some online safety tips; use unique passwords every time to keep staying safe online. We have an article on managing your passwords to make it easier to keep track of your different ones; click here.
4. Use an Encrypted Email Service
Staying safe online whilst using email is also very important, even if you cannot send important business emails. Firstly, an encrypted email service is a way to mask and hide the contents of emails that may include sensitive information. Email can be easily hacked, especially if you open phishing emails, so it’s best to use these to protect them. To learn more about how to be safe online using encrypted email, follow this link.
5. Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft
Firstly, you should follow all the steps we’ve mentioned above as they all help protect you from anyone trying to steal your identity. A VPN will help you stay anonymous and encrypted emails make it hard for them to see all your details. And that is how to be safe online against someone trying to steal your identity.
6. Protect Your Child Online
Children these days will grow up not knowing what life is like without the internet. So it is significant to make sure they know the dangers of being online too. It is prevalent for kids to click on anything and talk to anyone and not understand what threat they may be putting themselves in.
So it is best to keep all of their devices secure with encryption and security software and turn on age restrictions. It would help if you also were educating your child on how to stay safe online and giving them online safety tips now and then to remind them. This will allow your child to be more aware of what they do. Here’s our guide to keeping your child protected online.
7. Use End-to-End Encrypted Cloud Storage
What does this mean? When sending data such as files or photos over the cloud, it will reach the person you are sending it to without any third parties seeing what you sent. This is useful if you have to send important files over the cloud.
8. Ensure Your Cloud Backups Are Secure
The cloud can be easy to hack into as it is all online, and there’s always a crack available for hackers to get into. But physical reasons can deter you from hard drives, such as space, cost, weather, water, etc. And the cloud is so convenient, so it’s best to make sure that all of your cloud backups are secure.
9. Be Ready to Recover Your Data
Your files can be corrupted from malware or other malicious things if you don’t do regular sweeps of your device. So as mentioned above, it would help if you used anti-malware software to help prevent having to recover your data constantly.
10. Avoid Phishing Attempts
Phishing is prevalent, as people often don’t overthink opening an email and clicking on a link. An online safety tip would be to double-check all emails sent to you, even if you recognise the email, before clicking on any links to check that the person can be trusted and you were expecting a link from them. Instantly bin any emails from someone you don’t recognise. They may be asking you to give them something or that you have won a prize; never trust these.
11. Check social privacy settings
The browsers that you use all have grounds, whether that’s Chrome or Firefox. Different sites you enter may also have settings such as tracking your location for various reasons or collecting data. Make sure that you check these settings and change them for your ultimate safety, and let sites ask you first before monitoring your location or data.
12. Use Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is sort of like having two passwords. For example, your iPhone may suggest you use a passcode and also face recognition or fingerprint. This is a great way to stay extra protected online.
13. Don’t Use Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks
You may use insecure Wi-Fi at cafes or airports; these are some of the most accessible places to get hacked as you will share the same Wi-Fi as your hacker. to protect yourself, use a VPN at all times so that you are anonymous and have changed your IP address.
14. Turn Off Location Services on Your Mobile Devices
Location services are used to aid your search engine in getting more location accurate results. For example, when you search ‘restaurants near me, your browser on your phone will recognise your location and give you places nearby. They can be tracking your site at all times, which is unsafe and can also drain your battery life.
The Biggest Threats to Your Online Security
To know how to stay safe online, you must also know what threats you may face to be prepared and learn lots of online safety tips before it happens. Here are the dangers that may compromise you are staying safe online.
- Malware – Malware is malicious software that can give your device a virus, a trojan horse, spyware, ransomware, and computer worms.
- phishing – We’ve already mentioned this above, so that’s why it’s such a threat as it can be easily disguised
- Pharming – Unlike phishing, harming will directly target you and take you straight to the malicious site.
- DoS and DDoS Attacks – these attacks are used to overwhelm sites and cause them to shut down. This would irritate you as you would not be able to use the site you wish for a certain period.
- Application Vulnerabilities – These are minor errors or bugs in the system that allow data to be stolen.
- Scams – these are common and can come in the form of a text message or email or even calls to try and take your credit card information or other things to scam you out of money.
- Rootkits – These allow complete control over a device and can be put onto the device through phishing or pharming schemes.
Knowing how to be safe online is a must, and knowing these threats will help you recognise when you may be compromised online. So to learn more online safety tips and about more cyber threats, click here.
Enhance your online privacy protection now
There is no way of deleting the digital footprint that you have already left, but you can still protect what you do from now on. Knowing how to be safe online and having online safety tips available to you should help aid you in the future. The minor steps, such as using a unique password for everything, will help to be safe online. Our site will help you become more knowledgeable in staying safe online, as that is our mission.