Most of us don’t think much about browsing the internet. We spend more time thinking about what we’re browsing than the actual act of surfing the net! However, it’s an important thing to think about because it can dramatically change how your computer functions and it can leave you open to hackers.
Next time you’re ready to search the internet, think about these good habits. When you make them part of your web browsing routine, you can make sure your information and your computer stay safe.
Use Multi Factor Authentication
You’ve already been harped on over and over again about choosing complex passwords. It’s still a smart thing to do, but you should also enable multi factor authentication whenever you can.
Multi factor authentication gives you an extra layer of security when logging in to programs on your computer, both at work and at home. A few different methods of multifactor authentication you may be able to choose from include:
- Time-based, one-time passwords
- Reading codes and typing them quickly
- Code sent via text message
- Code sent via email
- Hard security tokens
- Fingerprint recognition
- Facial recognition
Even if you aren’t able to choose the method you prefer, you should still use the multifactor authentication method that is offered. It’s one of the best ways to keep your logins safe.
Get Friendly With Your Privacy Settings
When was the last time you checked your privacy settings on social media? Do you dig into your privacy settings when you get a new phone? If you answered no to one or both of these questions, you should definitely spend more time digging into your privacy settings.
Although you are likely to find modifying your privacy settings to be irritating and time consuming, it is important. You want to minimize the data that apps and other platforms can sell, and you want to make sure unfriendly eyes aren’t able to learn personal information about you that could leave you open to identity theft.
Dig into each of your social media accounts and double check the settings on your devices. Don’t trust the default settings, as they are designed to benefit the people who created the platform or device.
Avoid Clicking on Links in Emails and Messages
You may think you know if an email or a message is genuine and safe, but scammers are changing their methods all the time. Just because you know what they used to do doesn’t mean you know what new thing they have up their sleeve now.
There isn’t anything inherently bad about opening up the email or the message, but you definitely don’t want to click that link without figuring out if it’s safe or not. It’s even better if you make it a general rule not to click on links. Instead, visit the website the message is pointing you to directly.
Know How You’re Accessing the Internet
Do you know exactly how you’re accessing the internet? Whether at home or on the go, you need to give it some thought.
How secure is your home Wi-Fi? It’s worth digging into your passwords and double checking that you have a firewall enabled. Are you using public Wi-Fi?
How you access the internet is important because an unsecure connection makes it easy for a hacker to gain access to your computer. It really is your first line of defense against those with malicious intent so it’s worth your time to get it right.
Optimize Your Searches on Google
Are you searching the internet the right way? It seems like a silly question to ask, but there are many ways you can optimize your searches on Google.
It’s an important skill to learn because it can mean the difference between doing something yourself or asking for help. When you know how to search the right way, you can find the answer to a computer question you have, for example, so you aren’t stuck paying someone else to fix your computer for you. Not to mention, knowing efficient ways to search Google means spending less time looking for the right answer, no matter what your question!
If you mindlessly hop on the internet and click on apps, it’s time to start thinking more carefully about how you’re using the internet. By slowing down and considering the things on this list, you can keep your personal information, systems, and devices safe so you can continue taking advantage of everything the internet has to offer safely.