The internet has become the nerve of every people’s digital life.  It’s a wonderful place to share and grab useful information and entertainment. However, it has a dark side too.

With the increase in hacking, scamming and virus/malware attacks, it has become a potentially dangerous place these days. Recent devices such as a smartwatch, smartphone, tablets and all the internet connected appliances have even greater risks from a security point of view. This article will give small handy tips and tricks to stay safe on the internet to prevent the majority of scam and hacks.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

Use complex password
Whenever you sign up/register in the new website do not use a common password.
Common password can be easily guessable by hackers and they can login to your account without your knowledge. Few examples of bad passwords are ‘123456’, ‘qwerty’, ‘password’, ‘abc123’, ‘password1’, ‘yourname@123’. Always use complex password by keeping below rules in mind:

  • Minimum password length 8 characters
  • Use uppercase and lowercase in the password
  • Use at least 2 numbers in your password
  • Use at least 1 special character in your password!@#$%*().
  • Example of strong passwords are ‘i7oveMydog!!’, ‘dOG.lOv3r’

Smart Click:
Make sure you click smart. Today due to advertising and marketing industry, you may encounter a lot of ads while surfing any website.
Whenever you see any ad with free stuff, amazing offers, bumper dhamaka and stuff like that, avoid clicking it. Those ads can trick you to reveal your personal information.

Use 2-Factor Login Feature:
In any popular website today, they allow 2FA which is also known as 2-factor authentication. It works as follows: For example, if you log in to your Gmail account with ID and Password, Gmail will send you OTP (one time password) which is a 6 digit number to your phone, once you provide that number to Gmail, it will allow you to login into your email.

Assume your ID and Password are stolen even though Hackers will not able to login into your Gmail as OTP will only arrive at your mobile phone via SMS to which Hackers would not have access.

Practice Surfing through HTTPs:
While surfing online or using e-commerce website for your shopping and travel booking, make sure the website uses HTTPS. You view that by seeing the address bar of your web browser. HTTPS is secure and it protects the data that you are exchanging from your end to the server which can be Gmail, Facebook, Amazon.

Keep yourself Up-to-date
Keep your operating system (Windows 8, Windows 10) updated using auto-update feature of Microsoft. Also, all the third party software that you are using (Photoshop, VLC media player, Picasa etc..) should be updated regularly to the latest version. Do not use pirated software and always use either free or purchased software in your system. Pirated software can be a home of viruses which can steal information from your desktop/laptop.

Phishing:
Phishing emails are look-alike legitimate emails from the company/shop/website that you used/register or purchased things. When I say look-alike that means there is the only minor difference which cannot be identified in the first place by anyone.

Always look at the email address as fraudsters will send you an email asking for your personal information. For example, you may receive an email from support@go0gle.com.

Looking at first view you will feel that it’s a legitimate email from Google. However, there is one o and one 0 (zero) which tricks users and then the user provides their personal or google related information in a reply to this email. This is how user’s account can be compromised or misused.

When you are away from your home - you are away from your home. Do not share things in general.

Never reveal your holiday plans. That will give burglars an idea when you will be away and your home will be unoccupied. Avoid checking-in places on Facebook as that can give an idea to thieves and burglars when you are not at home.