October 8, 2016
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Keep your online accounts secure with these 3 steps

Due to the recent Yahoo hack, netizens are on high alert mode when it comes to account security and personal information. However, how can you be really sure that right now, no one is stealing your credit card information, hacking into your private files, infecting your PC with viruses, or looking over your browsing history?

Right now, if you’re reading this article, it means you are one of the lucky ones that are able to access the Internet. Statistics show that forty percent (40%) of the entire world population have access to the web– that’s about 3.4 billion individuals. While not the majority, that is still a huge number of netizens whose everyday lives are in a way dependent on Internet use. That’s 3.4 billion Internet users who can connect with workmates via email, do searches on Google, socialize on Facebook, and rant on Twitter. With this many users all over the globe, how can we ensure web security and privacy?

Whenever your PC or mobile phone is connected, you can always assume that your information and data are at risk. It’s not paranoia – it’s reality.

Why Security and Privacy are Important

Internet security and Internet privacy are two different, but interconnected, concepts. Internet security, or browser security, ensures that no one will be able to steal your pertinent information, such as passwords, usernames, credit card details, billing address, mobile number, and your hard-earned money hidden safely in your bank account.

A hacker’s job is to gain control of users’ accounts, sometimes for financial gain, sometimes just for the sake of invading other people’s privacy.

It aims to protect users against phishing – the act of stealing sensitive information from Internet users. It also exists to protect users’ computers or mobile phones from being infected with virus or malware, which can lead to harmful links that steal your information once you click on them.

phishing

Internet privacy, on the other hand, ensures that no strangers can gain access to your personal files or data. It is very much related to Internet security, but this time, what is being protected are Internet and personal activities. Our Internet activity is our personal space in the virtual world. A hacker’s job is to gain control of users’ accounts, sometimes for financial gain, sometimes just for the sake of invading other people’s privacy.  If in the real world, we desire privacy in our homes, cars, offices and other personal spaces, then it is also the same in the world wide web.

Internet security, or browser security, ensures that no one will be able to steal your pertinent information, such as passwords, usernames, credit card details, billing address, mobile number, and your hard-earned money hidden safely in your bank account.

As Internet users, it is important that we remain cautious and vigilant. If not everyone in the real world can be trusted, then it is exactly the same in the virtual world. There are people out there who are out to steal your information or gain access to your PCs for personal interests.

How to Ensure Internet Security and Privacy

Thankfully, there are steps that we can take to ensure that our personal information remains secure and our Internet activity private. Here are a few basic tips to ensure our safety and privacy:

Install an effective antivirus software. Over the years, as the Internet has taken over the world, many developers and programmers have come up with effective tools, such as antivirus softwares and applications, to guarantee Internet users’ security and privacy. There are many free yet effective antiviruses out there that you can install on your PC or mobile phone.

Use strong passwords. If you still use “PASSWORD123456” as your password for every single email, social media or online shopping account, then don’t be surprised if a hacker just walks in and takes your account information. Use passwords that are difficult for strangers to figure out.

privacy

Don’t use your personal information, such as the name of your kids or your pets. Also, use different passwords for different accounts. As much as possible, avoid using one password for everything. If you only use one password for every account, if a hacker breaks into one of them, he has access to all of them.

Stay away from suspicious websites. If the link looks shady, untrustworthy or dangerous, then close the browser immediately. Don’t sign up using your email. Choose only to sign up on legitimate websites or those of reputable businesses and services.

Total security and privacy in the Internet may be hard to reach, but it’s not impossible. These steps may seem simple but they may be the things that save us from thieves who could steal not just our money, but our entire lives as well.