In 2014 it is estimated that some 12.7 million Americans were victims of hacking and that amounted to $16 billion worth of theft in one calendar year. To avoid such scenarios, it’s important to employ common sense and safe browsing practices at all times.
Regularly Update Software
Software updates are not pesky pop-ups that should be avoided at all costs. Whenever a screen displays updates that are ready to be installed, it’s imperative that they are. Software programs are susceptible to hackers, especially if flaws are found in the code. That’s why all the major antivirus programs, registry cleaners, Windows updates, iOS software and others regularly update. Adobe flash player is an example of a program that is always being updated, and for good reason. Sometimes, the updates will take place automatically and no further action is required on the part of the user. However, sometimes it may be necessary to manage the software updates independently.
Always Seek Out HTTPS URLs
Ever seen the first 4 letters of a website? Sometimes they start with HTTP. And sometimes they start with HTTPS. The “S” stands for secure, and that makes the difference between safe browsing and unsafe browsing. When the “S” is added to the URL, the website and all traffic is secured from prying eyes. The HTTPS ensures that traffic is encrypted. It is possible to make secure browsing enforceable for all Internet activity, and many programs do precisely that.
Install Top-Tier Antivirus Software
The best antivirus software programs are the ones that protect your computer against the widest possible range of threats. There are many examples of top antivirus software including TotalAV. This antivirus program offers real-time protection and system scanning. It also provides malware quarantine, virus removal, advanced firewall protection, startup guard, and hard drive acceleration. It’s important that the antivirus program offers malware protection against adware, clickjacking, worms, Trojans, phishing, pharming, and others. Popular brands like McAfee are equally effective at preventing hackers from accessing personal information.
Multi-Layer Verification Protocols
This is a fancy way of saying that 2-step verification is far better than entering a single password. Many people unwittingly believe that random passwords with all manner of alphanumeric symbols and characters are unbreakable. Unfortunately, this is not true. Internet security can be enhanced by requiring 2-step verification. Major online banks use this type of technology when they require users to input a password in addition to a PIN that is emailed separately. To access online banking, the user needs to input both codes – hence 2-step verification. There are several variants of this, and it is always a good idea to seek out this type of online security at online banking sites, e-commerce sites, and even email accounts. Gmail and Facebook typically use this type of technology by sending a text message/voice message to a mobile phone. Once the data is input, the minor inconvenience is quickly forgotten and full accessibility to the site is available.
Regularly Change Your Passwords
Online security consultants advise users to regularly change passwords. This commonsense approach to Internet security is essential. If a password is infrequently changed, and the same password is used across multiple websites, it is like painting a massive bulls-eye on the back of account security. Arcane passwords are best – especially ones that have no correlation to the user’s name, date of birth, Social Security number, or favorite pet. The longer and more complex the passwords, the better the Internet security. It is important to use a mix of numbers, letters, symbols, uppercase and lowercase elements. And, each website should have a different password. Fortunately, there are many password managers available on the net, making it so much easier to generate unique logins.