If you have been keeping up with the news headlines lately, then you are probably well-aware of how scary the internet has become. Identity theft and issues with cyber espionage are everywhere, while national spies and organized criminals appear to lurk around every corner. As technology continues to evolve at an astronomical rate, there are countless opportunities for cyber criminals to exploit those who don’t take the right precautions.

Cybersecurity is now a common threat and something that businesses and individuals alike need to think about if they spend any amount of time online. Even when you think you are safe, you probably aren’t, and the more you know about the dangers of the online world, the more you can adjust your browsing strategies accordingly.

FOUR OF THE MOST IMPORTANT TIPS TO STAY SAFE ONLINE

Disable Cookies on Your Browser

On the internet, cookies are files that store your information on your computer by websites. They contain small bits of text, like your user ID, and even your name or address. When configured in a certain way, a page can have a hidden link that saves specific settings on your computer using a cookie.

For a lot of people, cookies can be useful, as they mean you do not have to constantly type in usernames and other crucial information. If you decide to clear your cookies, then you’ll automatically be logged out of any websites you are already connected with, and your browser will not remember any of the details or settings that you have added previously.

However, as useful as cookies can be, they can also be used for more questionable activities. For instance, tracking and advertising networks often use cookies to keep up with users across the web. Additionally, third-parties can leverage cookies to gather crucial information from websites. Even forging cookies has enabled unwanted traffic to gain access to a user’s account.

Avoid Public Wi-Fi When Surfing Secure Sites

Convenience is key in today’s modern world. In fact, we are so desperate for instant gratification, that we will often do things at the expense of our security or safety. Using a free public Wi-Fi network, for instance, can come with various security risks. However,  this survey show that an overwhelming number of Americans are happy to enter important details like bank passwords and credit card details on a public connection.

Unfortunately, while public Wi-Fi might be useful, it is also extremely dangerous, because it comes without the encryption and security measures required to keep your data safe. There are plenty of tutorials online that can teach anyone how to tap into public Wi-Fi, and some of these have millions of views. One common method of attack is the “Man in the Middle” attack.

With a Man-in-the-middle attack, traffic between a destination and user device is intercepted. However, there are plenty of reasons why Wi-Fi networks are unsafe. This does not necessarily mean that you need to avoid public Wi-Fi at all costs, it just means you need to know the pitfalls of logging into an unsecured network.

Use a Reliable VPN While Online

One of the easiest ways to secure your online safety is to use a Virtual Private Network. This is a group of discrete networks or computers connected together over the internet which can help to keep your browsing experience secure. Today, organizations use VPNs to connect their data centers, and many individuals use VPNs to access important resources when they’re not in the same LAN as their peers.

When you connect to a VPN- you launch a client on your computer, or click a special link, then log in with your credentials, and your computer will exchange important keys with a server. Once both computers are authentically verified, all the internet communications between those computers are secured and encrypted.

The most important thing you need to know about a VPN is that it secures your internet connection and guarantees that all of the data you send and receive is secured away from prying eyes. For instance, Express VPN is rated “Safe” by RMSH, which gives you the peace of mind of knowing that everything you do is protected online.

Be Cautious with Emails

Finally, some of the biggest gaps in the security experience online today, come because people in the business and consumer landscape do not know how dangerous an unsolicited email can be. There are many reasons to be cautious of your inbox in today’s cybercrime environment. For instance, some emails may be phishing scams, while others might contain malicious software and viruses. Files within messages might include web beacons, which discretely send messages back to the sender.

Email attachments can be a common source of infection through an email. For instance, you can receive an email – even from someone you think you know, with a dangerous file that’s been disguised as a photo or document. At the same time, in an email, deceptive links can be sent to lead people towards spyware, phishing, and even ransomware scams.

The easiest way to stay safe online is to avoid opening any emails that come from email addresses you do not know, while also making sure you have a security system in place to check your email attachments before you download them onto your computer.

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