These days, the number of active cyberthreats floating around the web seems to increase by the hour. From newly-developed viruses and malware to email scams to hackers, the internet can be a perilous place to safely navigate. Additionally, with cybercriminals and virus developers constantly stepping up their game, staying on top of new threats can often seem like an uphill battle. Luckily, protecting yourself from an ever-expanding array of digital dangers isn’t nearly as daunting a task as you may think. As you’ll find, staving off assorted cyberthreats doesn’t have to be a drain on your time, energy or financial resources.
Invest in Dedicated Security Software
Given the very real danger posed by cyberthreats, no computer should be without dedicated security software. While it’s true that most operating systems feature a variety of security properties, dedicated software is crucial to bolstering your digital defenses. As such, if you haven’t already done so, you’d do well to invest in dependable internet security software. The right software will help keep your personal information safe, protect your PC from virus attacks and defend you from the machinations of hackers and other cybercriminals.
When shopping around for the right security software, limit yourself to options that provide users with frequent updates, offer easily accessible support and have received consistently high ratings from other consumers. To get a better sense of which programs are reliable versus which aren’t worth your money, swing by one of the web’s many tech-oriented consumer feedback sites. Keep in mind that every piece of software you come across is bound to have a bad review or two. However, if you notice that bad reviews for a certain program far outnumber positive ones, it’s generally a good idea to explore other options.
Be Mindful of the Websites You Visit
Unsecured websites are among the most prevalent sources of viruses, malware and other cyberthreats. That being the case, you should be extremely mindful of the sites you choose to visit. For example, if your browser, operating system or antivirus software warns against visiting a certain site, you’d be wise to heed this warning. Furthermore, take care to avoid sites that lack SSL (secure socket layer) certification, particularly if these sites require users to provide personal information. In short, an SSL certificate ensures that a site carefully protects sensitive information as it travels between servers.
Luckily, SSL certification is easy to confirm. When viewing a site’s web address, simply look for an “S” after the “HTTP.” The lack of an “S” should serve as a huge red flag, especially for online stores and other sites where sensitive information is commonly entered.
Avoid Clicking Links from Unknown Sources
Another way to avoid visiting unsafe websites is to abstain from clicking links from unknown and/or questionable sources. As a general rule of thumb, you should avoid clicking links found in emails and other types of messages from people or businesses with which you’re unfamiliar. You should also take care to avoid clicking links found in social media posts from people or entities you don’t know.
Furthermore, just because an email purports to be from a trusted source doesn’t necessarily mean that it is. So, if any messages from trusted contacts are oddly-worded or in any way suspicious, make sure to get in touch with the supposed sender before proceeding to click any links contained therein.
Regularly Change Your Passwords
It’s easy to see why people tend to stick with familiar passwords and use the same passwords across multiple accounts. Unfortunately, these practices can lead to severe consequences if a hacker or data thief is able to ascertain any of your passwords. Using the same passwords for multiple accounts means that anyone who guesses one password essentially guesses them all. To avoid this, use different passwords for each account and change your passwords on a regular basis.
Nowadays, cyberthreats are seemingly lurking around every corner. Viruses, malware and various other digital dangers pose a greater risk to all of us by the day. When afflicted by cyberthreats, the consequences can range from inconvenient to downright devastating. As such, it’s in everyone’s best interest to prioritize preventative measures. The sooner cyberthreats are nipped in the bud, the sooner you can enjoy peace of mind. Fortunately, taking preemptive steps against cyberthreats doesn’t have to entail spending a lot of money, expending an unreasonable amount of effort or sacrificing large amounts of leisure time.