The Internet has become an essential part of our daily lives over the last few decades. With its advent, the world has become a global village. From online banking to shopping, we are dependent on networks all day. No matter where we are in the world, we can connect to hundreds of thousands of people with just one click. However, technology is vast, and there are some risks.
Using the internet is both accessible and vulnerable. Most of us tend to use social networking sites for business purposes and connecting with our loved ones. But sometimes, there is a chance that you might come across a cyber crook who is after your personal information.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), nearly 9 million US citizens are victims of identity theft each year. Unfortunately, half of them are unaware of this type of theft. The rest of the 3% have been negatively impacted by losing money or being imprisoned for crimes.
In short, the internet world is tainted with a variety of hidden dangers that affects your daily routine if you do not stay precautious.
You need to minimize some of the risky internet habits to avoid the potentially dangerous consequences in the future.
Here are the five things you do every day that make you vulnerable online:
Use of Public Wi-Fi: Nobody leaves the opportunity of free wi-fi outside the comfort of their homes. Or maybe you are just waiting for your friend who is taking too much time to come. Of course, it could also be an emergency online transaction that you need to make right at the spot.
Whatever the reasons, one thing you need to know is that public Wi-Fi sources such as international airports and famous tourist spots have no means of protecting their networks and are easily hacked, whether the network requires a password or not.
Managing editor of the security and privacy news site The Parallax, Seth Rosenblatt, says that public wi-fi is full of security issues. For example, commonly known networks, such as AT&T or Starbucks Wi-Fi, can be easily spoofed to capture public logins.
Cybercriminals use many fake wireless access point attack methods to trick you into connecting to a hacker-controlled wireless device.
If you must use public Wi-Fi, use a VPN to encrypt your data and provide the security of your wireless network over a shared connection to keep your data safe. You can use ExpressVPN or NordVPN to protect your data from scammers.
Insecure online buying methods: As e-commerce gained popularity throughout the decade, the number of online scams increased. Online purchasing and selling sites such as eBay, Amazon, and Craigslist are very convenient. But customer’s identity theft fears are not something to be taken casually.
Cybercriminals these days have made “spoofs” of well-known websites. The customer is sure that they are logging into an authentic website, but in reality, these scammers steal every bit of personal information once you put your email address and password on the fake website.
You can avoid this by making sure you only buy and sell on reputable websites. Also, only open the websites that have “HTTPS” in their URL.
In case of one-on-one interaction with a buyer or seller, make sure you verify their identity. Get their contact information and use Nuwber to search for anything that may sound malicious to you.
Opening non-verified email attachments: Opening an unfamiliar email can be a massive risk for your personal information. Phishers are waiting for you to act carelessly, even if it is for once, and it will not take them long to get your private information or even hack your system. The emails from these scammers sometimes look familiar to the services you use, such as your bank.
Since there is no surety that the email you received is whether from a trusted source due to the inherent insecurities of emails, you need to be careful while checking your unread stuff in the mailbox. Cross-check from the source whether you got a mail from them or not. This way, you can avoid phishers attacking you and put your privacy at stake.
Unprotected Passwords: Using the same passwords for different websites can be a considerable threat to your privacy. Understandably, it is nearly impossible to remember a different password for each website when you have more than 20 sites and applications in regular use.
To protect scammers from breaching your data, use Password1 to generate unique passwords for every service you use, and remember them. Using two-factor authentication is another way of keeping your passwords with you and you only. On putting a password for a service, you receive a code that you know only. The service or the website then confirms the unique password and lets you in.
Using too many applications: This might sound intimidating at first, but using too many phone applications can put your data at risk. Phony applications can be massively harmful to your devices, and your chances of getting hacked will rise like a rocket. Of course, this is a threat to those applications, that are authentic, and your personal information stored. Would you like if someone got access to the notes saved on your device?
Only install applications that you need and frequently use. If there is an app you use only once a month, it’s precisely the right time to delete it.
Download applications only from the trusted and verified sites and sources. You can protect your data from scammers by being a little more cautious.
Conclusion: No matter how much you protect your data and take every precautionary measure, there will still be some very dangerous hackers that will try their best to crack your passwords. Find a way that suits you, whether using an online VPN or a portable one or using an application that manages passwords. Be careful with whom you share your data and how.