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A Simple Guide to Online Security

A Simple Guide to Online Security

Online Security

According to the latest data, people spend nearly 7 hours online each day. That’s almost one-third of the entire day, and if you take out sleep time, that’s almost half of your waking hours. It means a huge part of our lives, including threats, are moving to an online space. One thing many people severely underestimate regarding the internet is the importance of security. Cybercrime is a multi-billion dollar industry affecting everyone, from corporations to individuals. This article will provide you with some quick and easy tips to improve your online security significantly.

Securing your sensitive online accounts

Account security is one of the main pillars of online security. If you think about it, your most sensitive information, including financial data, addresses, health records, etc., are all spread across various accounts and services. If there’s one thing cybercriminals will attack first, it will be your online accounts. So, you need to be able to secure them. To do so, we’ll point out two critical steps: having a strong password and enabling 2FA.

Creating a strong password

With a simple free tool, hackers can crack a short and simple password within minutes. So, you must create strong passwords to prevent these brute-force attacks. Some best practices for creating robust passwords include:

  • Set unique passwords for each account;
  • Use a combination of letters and special characters;
  • Use passphrases that you can remember but don’t make much sense (for example, “BlueCoffeeMug!Sunshine27”.

Another great option is to delegate the password creation and storage process to a password manager. You should get one for yourself, and both use an enterprise password manager in your company since sensitive files are a concern everywhere these days.

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This tool will generate highly complex passwords with a single click. The best part is that you won’t have to remember them, as they’ll be readily available from a secure vault each time you need them.

Enable two-factor authentication (2FA)

Since user credentials are constantly leaked on dark web forums due to attacks on large companies, you need something more than a password to secure your accounts. This is called two-factor authentication, a common feature among most reputable apps, websites, and services. 2FA necessitates an extra verification step to let people into an account.

A popular 2FA method is an authentication app that generates a temporary code you enter to verify your authenticity. The only way someone could bypass that is if they have physical possession of your phone.

Browsing the web securely

Another important step in your journey toward online safety is learning how to browse the web securely. Luckily, most web traffic these days uses HTTPS, an encrypted web traffic protocol. However, there are still some risks, such as:

  • Adware;
  • Services tracking your behavior without approval;
  • Unsecured networks.

To maximize your security regarding these risks, opt for browsers that prioritize privacy. There are several great ones on the market (Hint: they’re not the mainstream ones). Some great features of these secure browsers are automatic tracker blocking and way more control over your privacy settings.

While these browsers will block a lot of malicious content on websites (including harmful Google results), you should still be careful about what you click and download, especially on email and social media.

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One excellent tool that helps with most browsing risks is a VPN.

The value of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

VPNs are simple yet extremely effective tools for combating online threats. They’re effortless to set up, allowing you to go private within minutes. So, how exactly do they do that?

The best VPN providers that the VPN comparison table on Reddit suggests have servers throughout the world. When you use a VPN, your traffic essentially gets routed through one of these servers, hiding your true IP address and making it nearly impossible to track.

This level of security is particularly beneficial when using public Wi-Fi networks, where the risk of cyber threats is higher. Another great benefit of VPNs is that by connecting to servers in different locations, you can access content that may be restricted or censored in your country.

Conclusion

Given how prominent the internet has become in our day-to-day lives, it’s imperative that we learn how to use it responsibly and securely. These are several key steps from our article you should follow:

  1. Set strong passwords, especially for accounts containing sensitive information;
  2. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible;
  3. Utilize tools like privacy browsers and VPNs to hide your internet traffic from malicious actors.

These are the main ingredients for your online safety.

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