More people than ever use the internet for work, play and social activities. To put it in perspective, Internet World Stats shared that, as of July 20, 2020, 90.3 percent of North Americans use the internet regularly, which is a 203 percent increase since 2000. The first quarter of 2020 might have helped to boost those numbers because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting quarantines and lockdowns. But one thing is clear: online safety has never been more essential.
Many users are trying to find the best ways to protect their devices, data and themselves. Here are the four best online safety tips right now to get you started.
1. Use Secure Passwords
One of the core elements of online security is creating strong passwords. However, strong passwords are often difficult to remember. Since it is not unheard of for users to have up to 85 passwords for accounts, it is not surprising that people often use the same login credentials for multiple accounts for platforms that include banking, streaming, social media, work and mobile apps. When creating your passwords, experts recommend using phrases and incorporating shortcut codes or acronyms you are likely to remember. For example, take the Shakespeare quote “To be or not to be, that is the question,” and turn it into “2BorNot2B_ThatIsThe?” to get a secure password that is still easy to remember.
2. Exercise Caution Using Public Wi-Fi Networks
Public Wi-Fi hotspots are attractive for many reasons. Sometimes it is nice to get out of the house to go to a local cafe to do some work on your laptop or mobile device, but you put your device and data at risk when you do so. It is best to avoid performing any internet banking tasks or transferring confidential information over public wireless networks. Hackers can compromise those networks quickly and easily. Either wait until you return home to a safe and confidential network, or invest in a virtual private network (VPN) that securely encrypts all transmitted data.
3. Do Not Open Suspicious Links
Whether you receive a phishing email, or you see a tempting link on Facebook or Twitter, do not click on suspicious links. Sometimes emails can seem legitimate, addressing you by name. Still, hackers can find out certain superficial information about you to create a false sense of security, luring you into clicking their link. If you follow a link, it may contain a virus or worse, compromising your account or allowing them access to your banking or credit card account.
4. Invest In Identity Theft Protection
Some businesses help you stay safe through the tips mentioned here and so much more. When you invest in protection with Norton & LifeLock, you can stay safe in the case of identity theft or due to an emergency. LifeLock offers you premier identity theft protection while Norton comes through with robust device and VPN protection. Norton 360 provides a variety of LifeLock features, including:
- Real-time threat protection
- No-log secure VPN
- LifeLock Identity Alert™ System
- Password management
- Credit monitoring
- Parental controls
Online Safety Starts with Vigilance and Proactive Strategies
The fact that you are thinking about online safety is a great start. Investing in a comprehensive security system that helps you protect your passwords, public internet usage and avoid dealing with dangerous links takes things to the next level and puts hackers on notice that you intend to keep them out of your online activity.