Internet is more and more dominant in the lives of average human beings. Even though it may seem that it cannot get any more important in every aspect of our life than it currently is, there is always more and technology has no plans of slowing down anytime soon, probably ever. Therefore, we have to go out of our way and protect ourselves while increasingly using this marvel of technology for work, education, fun, shopping, and everything else.
The year 2021 is here, one that is looked upon as a savior after the dreadful 2020 everyone experienced. Therefore, it is the perfect time to start thinking about the time ahead as well as the immediate future that comes after it and what it has in store for us in terms of internet safety and security. When it comes to cybersecurity and online risks we out ourselves to day in and day out, right now it is also a great time to become aware of the latest and biggest threats to your security and safety when you are working and interacting with other users on the web. With that being said, make sure to check out the short guide below on how to stay safe online in 2021.
1. Meeting People Online? Check Their Background
Many people these days are increasingly turning to the world of social media and dating sites in order to meet new people and either fiend new friends, or more commonly, new romances and flings. Of course, as one can easily assume, it is not always the safest way to go about entering into a new relationship with someone. After all, just about anyone can go online and pretend to be someone that they are not with some devious and dangerous underlying plan in mind. To escape such bad experiences, if you are going to take this route frequently, it is a great idea to do an extensive search for more information about an individual you are interested in meeting in real life, before you actually meet them in person.
To do this, you can use a service like Nuwber to search for information on individuals and like property ownership, lawsuits, and police records. You can also use various other sites to run background checks, and you can even use Google to see what results show up when you look up information about the past of a person. It is incredibly easy and all it takes is to write their full name. Apart from all of their social media (as long as they are using their real names there), any and all news articles featuring their names will appear. No matter what path you choose to take, the goal is to learn more about a person so you can avoid becoming a victim of a scammer. And internet is and has always been full of scammers and con artist, other than the usual perpetrators like cyber criminals and hackers.
2. Use Two-Factor Authentication Whenever Possible
Whenever it is possible to do so, use two-factor authentication to protect your personal information and keep your devices as secure as possible at all times. This is one of the easiest ways to stay safe online and most devices and services offer it nowadays, but a lot of people avoid doing it because they do not want to deal with the hassle of setting it up and then bypassing it when they change devices or log out.
It is worth it to take the time to verify your identity whenever you need to log into your accounts because if somebody else is trying to get in, you will be instantly notified with advice to change your password. Thus is a very smart way to prevent hackers from easily accessing your accounts and the personal information that they contain because it is an extra obstacle they have no way of overcoming unless they also manage to hack your main email. Remember, passwords can be guessed easily, so two-factor authentication can provide an extra layer of protection that is worth having. And the best part is that it is free to use and probably present with every single app and service you use.
Speaking of passwords, of course, the general rule is never to use the same password or even a variation of an existing password for different services and websites. Try to think of clever and unique things for each new account to maximize your security.
3. Avoid Unsafe Websites by Carefully Surfing the Web
There are a lot of websites that you will come across whenever you do a search for information online. But the problem is that some of those websites might not be legitimate, and they might end up trying to put malware on your system that can then make you vulnerable to having your information stolen by hackers. It is sometimes next to impossible to realize which website only exists to steal away and encrypt data with ransomware, but with a certain amount of care you can actually do much.
There is certain software that you can use to protect your computer from viruses and receive alerts when you are about to go onto a site that is not trustworthy. In addition to that, you can also look for signs that the site is potentially trustworthy. For example, if there is a padlock icon by the URL of the website, and especially if the URL has “https” instead of “http” at the start of the address, those are clear signs that the site is likely safe.
Be Careful This Year to Protect Your Personal Information!
There you have it fellow internet users, three of the best and most basic things you should use if your aim is to become and stay secure online in 2021. As you can see from the above mentioned tactics, there are different things that you can utilize in order to stay safe online this year, and in the future. The best thing about this is that a lot of these (and some other) methods are completely free and surprisingly easy to implement into your daily life. Therefore, suffer no longer and stop putting yourself at risk each time you decide to hop online and take appropriate action towards a safer online life today.