How Safe Is Online? (Internet Security)

This is actually the second and the final post for the How Safe Is Online series, and this time I’m focusing on issues relating to problems with internet security and its potential risks.

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Before you click something on your e-mail, think twice. Is it a legitimate e-mail, or is it some kind of malicious spam?

Being connected online makes your machine vulnerable from the bad guys. That is, if you’re not careful about clicking on websites that you thought are safe to visit but it’s not. Also, there are a lot of impostors online so that may compel you to click on it or not.

There are reports of online accounts being hacked, infected computers (due to virus), malware, stolen information, and other related cyber crimes. You might think if the internet’s becoming a dangerous place to store your personal information, considering that any information put there will be accessed at anytime.

Online ads can be helpful for business, but not all ads are legit. There could be some ads posing as a legit company ad, only it will lead you to an entirely (unrelated) different site. Pop-up ads, which can be annoying at times, can be even more annoying if it turns out to be both misleading and malicious.

Spamming is very common when you’re using free e-mail services such as Yahoo, Gmail or Hotmail (Windows Hotmail Live/Outlook.com), so you need to check if you really registered/subscribed with that particular website before you click on it. Nowadays, every spam e-mail is automatically sent to the spam folder, waiting for it to be either considered safe or deleted.

Be careful with downloading files. Not every file you downloaded is safe to open, you need to make sure that it came from a trusted source. Otherwise, you take the risk.

With all sorts of danger happening in the cyberspace, it’s best to know the importance of the word “caution”. It can definitely save you from a lot of trouble, which you wouldn’t want to happen.

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So there, here are the tips to save yourself from online trouble:

  1. Always make sure you have anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-malware software installed.
  2. Always make sure that the firewall is enabled.
  3. Don’t give out sensitive information over the internet.
  4. Avoid clicking links on a spam e-mail. Don’t respond to it as well.
  5. When downloading a file (especially software), always make sure that it’s from a trusted source. Also, do some research before you download.
  6. You can install ad-blocker or pop-up blocker software (it’s actually a browser extension) if you want to.
  7. Back up your important files, as there might be a possibility that a potentially dangerous virus/malware can wipe out some contents of your hard drive.
  8. Change your password often. This can both apply to your online accounts and your PC.
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