In the digital era, many people are learning that the internet has a ton to offer. Many people have even discovered unique ways to acquire information from the internet by using torrenting sites like The Pirate Bay, RARBG or many others.
Many people, especially those toying around with torrenting, think they know all about digital safety, but there are 10 bad habits of online users that cause more digital security breaches than you can image.
Here are 10 bad habits to avoid while online:
Using Unsafe Passwords
Your passwords are your knights of using the internet. These bad boys are the first stop between criminals and your personal information, locked away in a digital safe.
It is vital, then, that the passwords you choose are efficient in stopping cybercriminals.
Using passwords that are easy to guess or repeated for all your logins is a surefire way to get your information stolen. Every year there are hundreds of thousands of people who their information hacked while using passwords like 1234 and Password1.
Finding a password with more than 10 keystrokes is a great way to increase your security!
Downloading Unsafe Applications
A big no-no while using digital devices is downloading apps without doing any research into their reputability.
There are many users who assume that an app that can be downloaded to their handheld device is already vetted for safety. This is not true.
It is always up to the user to be responsible for the items they download to their device, handheld or otherwise.
Using Unsecured Connections While Banking
Sure, on first sight this one seems obvious. But, it turns out that a lot of people don’t know what an unsecured connection actually is.
An unsecured connection is any connection that isn’t properly password protected. This can mean password protected WIFI where the password is publicly available or easily guessed. But more often means non-password protected WIFI.
It can be second nature for people to check their bank accounts before making purchases throughout the day, and often they don’t realize they have been automatically connected to a company’s open WIFI before doing so.
This can lead to cybercriminals gaining access to your private data and stealing your identity.
Not Keeping Antivirus Up to Date
This problem happens frequently. Users often see the pop up on their devices asking to update the software, but the alert is perpetually snoozed until finally there is a breach and the device becomes riddled with viruses.
It is easy to tell ourselves, “I’ll do it later,” but taking the time to keep your antivirus program up to date is very important. These types of programs are the first line of defence against viruses that can corrupt your files and install keyloggers on your devices.
Assuming Antivirus Software is Impermeable
While it is important to own and maintain antivirus software, it is important to remember that there are other digital threats that do not involve viruses. Hackers, spies, and some malware can all get past antivirus software.
These threats require you to take additional protection by using antimalware software and/or using a Virtual Private Network, or VPN while browsing.
Sharing Private Data
Something that happens far more often than it should is the sharing of private data through digital communication.
It is commonplace for logins and passwords to be shared via text, messenger, and email these days, but this just creates an opportunity for that information to be stolen. This becomes even more dangerous if you are sharing more important information like credit card details or social security numbers.
It is never safe to digitally share private information. If your sister needs your Netflix login, just give her a call!
This sounds like advice for an elderly person, we know, but you would be shocked by how many people get tricked into clicking pop-ups. The problem is pop-ups become more and more cleverly hidden every day.
I’m sure we have all experienced the pop up that seems to materialize into the perfect position the moment you attempt to click anything on the screen.
Using pop up blockers is a great way to ensure your safety from tricky and infuriating pop-up ads.
It has become incredibly common for websites to ask you permission to access your location.
Some websites it seems reasonable. Like real estate search sites and Google Maps. However, whether you think the website or app has a reason to ask or not, it is never a good idea to share your location.
Cyberstalkers having access to your location information is the last thing you want! Additionally, your location information can be used for unwanted targeted advertising.
Adding Unknown Contacts on Social Media
When you have a business page on Social Media it is wise to get as large a following as possible. Engagement drives the digital business in the modern era.
It can be tempting to want to emulate this model on your personal social media pages as well, but it is not advised. There are large amounts of fake accounts waiting to steal your information or attempt to find a way to blackmail you.
It is fair to assume that there is very little, if any, compromising information on a person’s business page, but personal profiles tend to have information we don’t want others to have. This can include photos in front of private residences, birthdays, old embarrassing photos, a list of personal contacts, and more.
Storing Private Data
Modern computer operating systems tend to all have the seemingly convenient feature of saving your private data for multiple purposes (usually to auto-fill forms). This feature may save you time when ordering pizza online, but it can also cause you a lot of strife if that information gets stolen.
If your device is stolen all that information is right there and available. The thief might as well have gotten your credit card as well! Additionally, if you are hacked that information is all saved to your computer for the hacker to find and use.
Your safety when using the internet is ultimately your responsibility. Don’t fall into these traps and always take your digital privacy seriously to prevent serious trouble down the line.
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