Online scams and money laundering have increased by 17% in 2021. Nobody wants a message on their computer asking for a ransom to leave them unbothered or get blackmailed by unwanted content they browsed intoxicated the previous night.
Here are some insider secrets to protect yourself from such common attacks. Make 2022 a safe year to use the internet with these less known and hardly practiced tips. They are simple and logical to use and relevant to increase your online safety knowledge.
What Is Online Safety?
All of us use the internet for shopping, to kill time and enhance our knowledge. Whatever we do online gets tracked by numerous people like internet companies, marketers and hackers. They use our browsing data to show us relevant content to keep us hooked to the internet. They track details about us and send targeted ads. Personal information like name, place of birth and workplace details are collected to commit scams and phishing attacks.
Online safety is the act of protecting your data from the eyes of third parties efficiently. There are a number of ways to do it using custom protection software, following certain precautionary habits while browsing online and restricting the privacy settings of your social media accounts.
Why Is It Important?
Online safety is important for the following reasons:
1. Compromising your personal data might result in identity theft. You might be held responsible for the crimes committed using your identity. Sometimes it gets extremely serious when your identity is used for terror-related issues, money or loan forgery.
2. Failing to pay attention to social media privacy settings will result in unwanted people viewing details about your family, profession and interests. They can use it against you, for example, for phishing attacks.
3. Data like credit card details, health-related documents stored in unprotected emails and important work information stored in mobile or laptop with limited security can be stolen easily causing severe monetary and professional damage.
How to Stay Safe Online?
Online safety in 2022 is no longer only about using complex passwords and installing antivirus software. There are numerous advanced tips and tricks you should familiarize yourself with to outsmart hackers.
One-time cards: Using real credit card numbers to do online shopping results in numerous issues. Several details associated with the card number from your mobile number to the house address are tracked easily. Home Depot paid a whopping $17.5 million settlement when credit card details of their 40 million customers fell into the hands of hackers in 2014.
One-time cards have a temporary number which you can use while shopping online. Nearly all the banks are providing such services in 2022 and you can avail the service by upgrading your credit card or requesting your bank to activate the service.
The number can be used only once to shop and the details associated with the number cannot be tracked. It is wise to opt for one-time cards when you shop online or pay online to get an extra layer of security and hide your bank account and personal details.
Encryption services: Third-party apps like Abine Blur Premium do the job of your bank for you on your Android smartphone. The app encrypts the actual credit card number and generates a temporary number each time you use it. Even if hackers get hold of your credit card number, they will not be able to trace any other detail with this temporary number.
The app can also encrypt your real email id, mobile number and other details you specify when you do online shopping. It is very useful for frequent shoppers looking for a secure way to keep their data hidden.
Unwanted app download: App downloads on smartphones is a daily task for most of us as we need to install applications for various reasons starting from games and music streaming to work. Some of the apps are genuine while many are duplicated apps and may even come with hazardous malware that detects information from the mobile.
Secure your smartphones with a good antivirus software package that comes with ransomware and malware protection. It will scan all the downloaded apps with extra care, check whether it is genuine and warn you if it is a fraudulent app. Delete the apps you don’t use, don’t save them for ‘just in case’. Those apps may make your device operate slowly and even track your location or other details.
AMTSO: You installed an antivirus package in your system and smartphone. How do you know whether it is working properly? The Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization (or AMTSO) has a specific website mimicking phishing sites. Visit the site and follow the instructions given there. A well-functioning antivirus package will detect the dangers.
Use such services to check if your antivirus is up to date and functioning properly. If not, purchase a new legitimate product and go through its settings to enable all the necessary features. It is highly important to understand all the new and advanced features in the antivirus package and use them regularly to scan your devices.
Your online safety depends upon the efficiency of your antivirus software to a certain extent and it is vital to invest well and make extensive use of all the latest features to stay protected from online threats in 2022.
A few more tricks: Use Nuwber to check the details about various people, their background. Use the details wisely to connect with the right people online. 50% of online safety issues start when you connect with the wrong person and give them sensitive information about yourself. Keep your social media settings private, do not overshare and always stay alert about the various phishing scams and the new online thefts. Browse in incognito mode and use extensions that delete cookies. Use VPNs and password managers to make your own life easier and safer.
Awareness is the key to staying safe online in 2022. Keep your knowledge and devices upgraded with the latest technology to fight unwanted prying efficiently. The Internet is the playground for several people with a lot of time and resources at their beck and call and not all of them use it for the right purpose. It is up to the user to stay alert and upgraded to defend the ever-growing hacker and market groups.