The internet has changed our lives in numerous positive ways, but it has left us with dark effects, as well. Internet Security and Privacy has been lost, leaving us at high risk of getting affected by shady people, companies, governments and security agencies.
Every day, newer and newer threats surface on the Internet and end up affecting countless. While our ancestors only had to worry about few identifiable threats, we have ahead of us a whole new bunch of threats like Phishing, Spoofing, DDoS Attacks, Identity Thefts, Malicious Viruses, Spying, etc.
Such threats about one’s internet security are now mixed with the dark evils of social networking, online banking and malware. As it was not enough, the U.S government has made the final big strike by launching the PRISM program. Internet security, as it seems, will soon be a part of the history books.
Or is it already?
What if your Internet Security is compromised?
The internet helps us stay connected to the modern world. We use the Internet for banking transactions, shopping, emailing, social networking, and so much more. We rely so heavily on the internet today that sometimes we overlook the security concerns associated with it. It’s essential to improve internet security on a day to day basis to keep our data safe.
In circumstances where your internet security has been compromised, attackers can contaminate your device with malicious software or malware, in many unusual ways. They can take advantage of unsafe user practices and flaws in your computer programs. They also can trap unsafe connections by utilizing social engineering.
Once your device is infected, attackers can use the malware to access your device without your permission to execute unwanted actions. They can steal your personal data, transform computer configurations, cause your device to perform unreliably and install more malware in your device to leverage attacks or spread malware to others.
5 Viable Tips to Increase your Internet Security
Here are 5 easy yet effective guidelines that everyone should take care of while using the internet:
1. Connect to a Safe and Secure Network
Once you plug in your device to the internet, it’s also linked to millions of other device that could in return, build a path for attackers. Information flows from the internet to your home device by first coming into your modem, then to your router and finally your computer. Naturally, it’s necessary to secure your router as it is the first point of contact that receives data from the internet. Be 100% sure to check and secure it before you connect to the internet. If you don’t use a router, contact your ISP to learn how you can best secure your network.
2. Encrypt your Connection with Proxy or VPN
Your Internet connection is simple and transmits data in plain text that any hacker can easily steal. Always encrypt your Internet connection to avoid any external intrusion.
To encrypt the connection you have two choices either use a proxy or a VPN. To best respond to internet security threats, VPN remains the best option. VPN construct a secure encrypted virtual tunnel between your device and the internet. This way, all your information travels safely and securely.
A VPN works in 3 steps:
* First, it swaps your IP address with one from of its own servers in a different country, making you anonymous and untraceable.
* Second, it constructs a virtual tunnel using sophisticated protocols between your devices and the internet; making your connection remains secure at all the times.
* Finally, it encrypts every bit of your information to save it from outside intrusion and stealing.
Apart from this, a VPN is a magical key that can unlock all location-restricted content on the internet like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and much more.
There are a lot of VPN providers in the market and finding the best ones can be a cumbersome and time-consuming exercise.
3. Right Selection of Browser
There are many choices available for internet browsers in the market. Selecting the right browser with most secure features is wisdom. There are some easy steps to follow that can help to configure a browser for improved security and privacy. Go to your Web browser’s “preference settings” and set the preference to “not to accept ‘cookies’ from all the sites you have not visited”, or “third-party sites cookies”. That way you will only accept cookies from your visited and trusted sites.
Apple’s Safari has the ability to block third-party cookies by default. For Mozilla Firefox, you’ll need to opt for the same settings. In Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Google’s Chrome you will require fixing to block third party cookies.
4. Install and Update trusted Antivirus Software
Always use alleged and recognized antivirus software and don’t fall for fake security solutions. Moreover, always make sure that you are updating your antivirus software on a timely basis especially your operating system, security software and browser. The reason for this is that timely updates fix newly discovered loopholes in browsers and prevent malicious elements from exploiting vulnerabilities that can affect your security, privacy and anonymity.
5. Use Secure E-mail Services
Most common ways of communication are sending and receiving emails and also contains some of the most personal information of an internet user. It’s also one of the most common threatening channels by which one can lose his/her personal information. Yahoo has clearly mentioned that in its new version of email, every word of your emails will be scanned by yahoo to stop scamming and target ads.
There are many secure E-mail services that keep privacy of user’s data. It is always secure to use anonymous email services if you don’t expect an email in return especially when sending an email to a non-trusted person.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said:
“Just as nuclear was the strategic warfare of the industrial era, cyber warfare has become the strategic war of the information era,”
By Implementing the aforementioned simple steps, you can significantly improve your Internet security. The more you implement, the more secure your internet life will be. It is also a fact that after implementing all such practices your internet security is still vulnerable to many cyber threats, albeit the probability of getting attacked is reduced hugely. The best way to remain protected is by continuously investigating and implementing new ways to improve your internet security.
Authored by: Raheel Umair
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