Privacy cheat sheet for internet dummies
Golden rules to keep in mind while accessing the internet to avoid phishing.
As we all know, prevention is better than cure.
- Use different passwords: This was easy. Weak passwords are one of the biggest reasons for a security breach. Easy to crack passwords are like free tickets to enter your account. So first things first, keep the password where the guessing game won’t work.
Since we have multiple online accounts, don’t keep the passwords the same or even similar. One security breach and all your accounts are hacked in one go.
Therefore, it’s important to be extra careful when it comes to passwords.
– Never record them in the same place. NEVER.
– Avoid logging in from foreign devices. In case you do, make sure to log out and change the password asap from your trusted device.
– Type your passwords in local languages.
– Make it a mix of upper case, lower case, numbers, and special characters. It increases the password strength. It is needless to say that keep it long.
- Update your software, regularly: There is a reason software updates exist. They fix the loopholes in the software. Other than that, they make it stronger to survive the virus and to work at a faster pace. These are called bugs in the technical language and are taken very seriously. If the software is not updated when asked for, it might start/continue to cause problems which are uncalled for. Updating software improves the functionality making the system work faster.
In addition to that, the system might crash making you lose the data, partially or completely.
Moreover, in the world of cybercrime, one might not want to take these kinds of risk.
- Cookies: Whether it’s waistline or web privacy, cookies do no good. Online cookies are small text files stored in the user’s device which tracks the user’s preferences. No matter how concerned it sounds on the outside, it is harmful more than it can ever be useful to the user.
It is possible that using cookies, prices shown to you might be higher than the normal prices otherwise. It creates the kind of limitations which narrows down the choices, usually focusing on the prices.
For example: Suppose you have booked a flight ticket in the past with meal through a travel website. There are chances that the travel website won’t even show you flights without mean next time. This is a matter of concern since the lowest prices won’t be visible to you at all. Cookies to the win.
The solution to this is to avoid hitting on ‘Remember me’ since it saves your login details and makes sure to clean out the cookies from your browser once a week.
- Authentication: It is one of the most important factors when it comes to internet security.
It can be done in various ways like OTP, email verification, token number, fingerprint, pin-based, grid-based and much more depending on the type of organization and requirement. These verification codes are usually time-sensitive, that is, they expire within the given time (usually seconds) to make sure no trespasses happen.
Mostly every bank app has fingerprint option for their apps.
Ever thought why do you get an OTP even after entering all the details right?
When any odd login happens from your account, an email is triggered to make sure it’s you. These measures are taken by the organizations to make sure no security breach happens.
These authentications are required since they track the usual user behavior and can help identify if there are any odd logins.
- Unreliable pen drives/hard: You don’t just insert whatever in your device. A small pen drive can cause more harm than you can imagine. This includes data being corrupted, virus transfer in the device and what not.
The virus can be easily transferred to your device and before you know it, it has already harmed your system in one way or the other.
If you have a reliable antivirus, it will always recommend you to scan the pen drive before running it.
Now the question comes down to, how to avoid it?
– Try to carry your own pen drive
– Look for alternatives. Instead of transferring the data through pen drives, try if you can share it by uploading it on the drive.
– The least what you can do is scan the pen drive before running it in your systems
– If you still feel there is something wrong with your device, for example, it gets slow or shows some unusual characteristics, ejects the pen drive immediately and gets the device checked by a professional to keep the damage minimum.
- Invest in a good antivirus: Antivirus is another extension to the security compass. It not only detects the virus but also protects the software from hackers.
Other than that, it is used for protection from spam, which usually is the cause of the virus entering the device.
Antiviruses are of different kinds. No matter how much tech-say one is, an Antivirus is a must. The devices might have sensitive information which can be extracted with the help of misbehaved viruses.
Antibiotics to humans are what antivirus to software.