People tend to think of Internet security as being complicated and too technical for the average person to understand. However, without digging too deeply, most of the important stuff is plenty easy for the average person to implement. Keeping yourself safe on the internet can mean the difference between compromising your personal information and protecting your privacy.
Ad blockers serve more than one purpose on the Internet.
The purpose most people think of is simply blocking annoying ads that slow down your browsing experience. However, ad blockers can also keep malicious scripts from running.
Many times ads pop up on websites with scams embedded, like free gift cards, or trying to warn you that your computer has a virus. There’s always a place to click and doing so could activate a malicious script. Some ads even purport to be a legitimate site and have places to enter your username and password, which are then stolen through the ad.
Ad blocker technology stop most ads from ever appearing and are usually available as browser extensions or apps on mobile devices.
Using a VPN
A VPN is a virtual private network that gives you a secure connection to a network on the Internet. With a VPN, you can visit websites with region-restrictions, download anonymously and hide your Internet use from your Internet Service Provider.
In the current age, cyber crime is on the rise and more info keeps coming out about extensive government surveillance. If any of this makes you nervous about the information you share online, then a VPN is a good investment. Using a VPN isn’t a complicated process either.
The first step is to choose a VPN that fits your needs. Many VPNs give you the opportunity to test their service for free before committing. After you decide on a VPN, you simply subscribe and download the client. The VPN website should have instructions on how to properly set it up. After set up, you simply turn it on and you’re ready to browse the Web in security.
Encrypted Email and Messaging
Email has largely turned into a minefield in the present day, with dozens of spam emails hitting the average user’s inbox every day.
Even more insidious is when email accounts become compromised and the hacker uses the account to send messages to the account holder’s contacts. These emails often contain links designed to steal information.
Common tactics include disguising as a bank or PayPal, hoping to steal login information. Another tactic is promising some amount of money or gift, again hoping to steal information. In general, it’s important to remember that emails are not safe places for sensitive information.
If you want to make them safe, then you’ll need to get email encryption. Thunderbird and Postbox are examples of desktop clients that you can use to encrypt just about any popular email service. In order to use them, both sender and receiver must be using encryption in order to exchange public keys. Another way cyber thieves can steal information is through messaging apps. Encrypted messaging apps for mobile devices are the answer to keep this information safe.
Some examples of secure messaging apps for Android and iOS include ChatSecure, Signal Private Messenger and Gliph.
The other place where you can likely increase your Internet security is the strength of your passwords. Recent massive hacks have made the news where large numbers of user passwords were stolen. The problem with this is that people tend to use the same password across several sites.
This means that if a hacker gets your password and email, they can potentially compromise more than one of your accounts. Here are three tips for smarter passwords:
1.Never use the same password across multiple sites
2.Don’t use easy strings of numbers and letters and if the site allows special symbols, use those as well.
3.Change any relevant passwords immediately when news of a mass hack breaks.
As you can see, Internet security doesn’t have to be complicated. It only takes a few specific actions to better protect yourself on the Web.
About The Author:
Mike MacKenzie, is a computer nerd with an interest in online privacy, security and pretty much anything “internetty”. When he’s not writing articles like this, you can catch him writing stuff at his own site vpnsrus.com