Hackers, digital perverts, governments, corporations, there is no end to the constant bombardment of danger on the internet. Children, the elderly, and those who are less than savvy about the internet are in particular danger, however, there are a few simple ways to protect you and your loved ones from almost all online dangers.
Those who wish to compromise computers and networks connected to the internet use a multitude of techniques to trick a user into releasing information that can then be used to the hackers advantage. These techniques can be anything from sending fake emails to creating fake online accounts and even creating fraudulent charities. The consequences of falling for anyone one of these scams can dire.
Most people feel safe in their ability to protect themselves on the internet, however, the statistics show something else entirely, statistics show that 73 percent of United States Web Users have been victimized by cyber crooks.
However, using a few simple tips and (free) tools, you can minimize that risk.
- Common sense is the first line of defense. An old college friend of mine told me that “99% of all antivirus is common sense.” Don’t click on emails in your spam folder, don’t fill out surveys for free iPads and if an attractive woman/man you have never met messages you on Facebook, don’t click the link. If it seems too good to be true, it probability is.
- Antivirus does not make you safe. On average it takes a month for antivirus companies to detect new strands of viruses. In order to protect your family and yourself, it is recommended that you install not just antivirus, Download and install Sandboxie, It will run your web browser in a “sandbox mode”, a form of isolation, so that even if it virus, it cannot spread to the rest of your PC.
- Know what your computer is being used for. Install parental controls such as K9 Web Protection, this allows you to monitor what websites are viewed and gives you the option to limit websites based on keywords. K9 also features relaxed blocking for teenagers, or strict Blocking for kids.
- Protect your email address. One of the most simple ways to eliminate email viruses, is by refusing to give your email to hackers. You can do this by creating a second email for spam, or websites that are not trusted. this way, fewer dangerous emails will make it to your inbox.
- Create a comprehensive web protection plan, and share it with your family. Education is the best protection, show them what websites are okay to visit, and what is not trusted. Leave a sticky note next to the PC with ways to stay safe on the web. The weakest link can break the chain, and all it takes is one uneducated user to compromise the system.
If you have anymore suggestions, please share them in the comments!