The last decade has been a decade of economic reforms, the digital revolution, technological innovations and liberalisations. While the good things had outdone the negatives, the one aspect that has grabbed lots of eyeballs in the last 10 years is the growing threat of cyber-attacks. Instances such as Email hacks, identity theft and financial fraud has been overwhelming. The hackers have not only attacked individuals but have conducted devastating attacks on much-reputed company’s server. If you not been a victim to these attacks, then that is good news, but there is no guarantee that you will be safe, even in future. Thus, it is important to understand the right ways to use the internet and secure your personal info from being misused by malicious hackers.
You don’t need to be a computer engineer to understand the security norms, all you need is a little bit of awareness and knowledge about online security. So, let’s look at some easy but effective tips for leading a secure online life.
1. Keep your Passwords unique
The hackers are working day and night to enter your online space and steal your information, so to be safe from them, you need to act smart. Passwords with a combination of name and date of birth are obvious, so please do not keep such easy to guess passwords.
Add combinations of numbers, alphabets and symbols. Use capital for any word and leave the others in lower case. For example, is you want to make a combination of your name and house street number then you can frame ‘B@rry#125n0’, to guess this password would not be easy? To write a passphrase with a combination of alphabets, numbers and symbols would be a smart choice.
2. Get a VPN service provider
The moment you log on to the internet, you are vulnerable to attacks. The safest way to connect to the internet, using a Wi-Fi network is through a VPN. VPN or Virtual private network works as a safe tunnel, through which your information passes. The data is further encrypted so that it becomes extremely difficult for any hacker to decode and use.
Especially, if you are travelling to a foreign country, where the internet policies are strict, you do need a VPN. For instance, if you are in Japan and wish to watch an Indian series, then you might need a VPN to bypass the geo-restrictions and freely binge-watch your favourite shows, even in Japan. But do not search for free VPN services in Japan, rather look for risk-free VPN service providers, who guarantee 30 days refund, if the service is not up to the mark.
Mind it! Never use public wifi without VPN protection.
3. Work only with Two-Factor Authentication.
Two-factor authentication might seem like a lot of work, but trust us, this one effort will ensure complete safety to your accounts. Two-factor authentication means that you need to validate your identity to access your account, beyond the usual username and password.
OTP on mobile and email are some examples of online banking services. Here, until you provide the double layer information of your account, you will not be granted an entry.
4. Do not use one email id for all accounts.
Having one email attached to all accounts is undoubtedly easy to manage, but from a security aspect, it might not be the best thing to do. Imagine if your social media account gets hacked, then if you have separate accounts, you can immediately stop using the account and inform your contacts about the attack. But if all your accounts are linked to one email, then the damage will be greater than just sending phishing emails from your account.
The Bottom line:
Technology has changed the way we communicate and express ourselves. It has helped us stay connected with our friends and family, with just a single click. With the onset of covid-19, the online media has helped students to gain education and attend classes, through online learning and audio-video applications. But with such great benefits, the responsibility of handling this tool is even greater. Scammers, hackers and advertisers are constantly watching over you and waiting for you to slip just once. So, use the above tips and keep your personal info and your online life secure and happy.