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Five Online Saftey Tips

There’s no overlooking the convenience of the internet. It’s now easier than ever to research topics and connect with other people. Unfortunately, there’s an ugly side to the information superhighway. Hackers and other cybercriminals are always looking for unassuming victims. Here are five online safety tips to remember when surfing the web.

1. Limit Personal Information

Be careful about the amount of personal information you share online. You don’t want any strangers having access to your private life. From your relationship status to your home address, everything could be revealed. Even worse, hackers are known for distributing information for profit. Some people have even had their entire bank account wiped out. This is why you should always keep your social media sites private.

2. Use a VPN

Far too many people fail to use a VPN when connecting to the internet. VPN is an acronym for virtual private network. This feature is designed to prevent others from monitoring your online activity. It’s especially important to use a VPN when logging onto a public Wi-Fi hotspot. Although a VPN may cause your internet speed to be just a bit slower, this is a small price to pay for the extra protection.

3. Always Be Careful When Downloading Files

Before you download programs and apps, first make sure they’re legitimate. Some criminals essentially trick people into downloading malware. Their device is then more at risk of getting invaded by a virus. When something looks suspicious, take the time to do a little homework. There are some big red flags that you shouldn't trust a certain app. If the app has no user reviews or doesn’t provide a link to the developer’s website, the best approach is to not take any chances.

4. Create Strong Passwords

When creating a new password, some internet users try to be as simple as possible. The bad news is that thieves have a better chance of guessing uncomplicated passwords. Ideally, all your passwords should be unique and complex, containing a minimum of 16 characters. If you’re afraid that you might forget your passwords, consider using a password manager.

5. Make Online Purchases From Secure Sites

It’s no secret that online shopping has become more popular than ever. Many people love the convenience of being able to buy goods and services right from home. To avoid trouble, always make online purchases from secure sites. Once hackers get hold of your banking account or credit card info, it’s only a matter of time before you notice fraudulent activity on your account. If you see a padlock icon next to the address bar, this is a good sign. It indicates that the site has data encryption for enhanced security.

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