With a surge of cyberattacks from foreign and domestic entities, it is more important than ever for businesses to be informed on proper internet safety. As of 2021, it is estimated that over 90% of Americans have internet access in some format, and yet, many individuals with that access have never been given the appropriate warnings. Beneath are a few great tips for improving your defenses against potential infiltration.
Internet Safety: Password Security
One of the first foundations of our online identity is the passwords we use to secure our accounts. Many individuals, unfortunately, have picked up a poor habit of using one passphrase across multiple sites and accounts. This is a poor practice as one database leak from a single site can compromise all your other sites; be they entertainment or, at worst, your banking details. Instead of choosing one passphrase, it is recommended to use varied codes and keep the details within a secure passcode vault.
We’ve all seen them – vague links sent to our private accounts that promise some ‘reward’ in one format or another, or a message from Microsoft stating your computer is infected with a ‘virus’ they need to remove. The very worst thing you can possibly do is click on any link these domains send you, as they often contain links to malicious sites that can and will attempt to steal your data. If you are ever in doubt of something’s authenticity, call the company that sent the email directly.
Contests, Princes, and Merchants
The concept of a Nigerian Prince sending you their riches might seem a thing of the past, but many scammers still utilize such tactics in the hopes some of us are gullible enough, with repeated attempts, to fall for these tricks. If you’ve won a contest that you cannot recall entering, do not respond to the message. If something sounds ‘too good to be true’, usually it is.
Alongside the princes, there are other malicious scams that involve irreputable sites selling fraudulent goods. If you’ve found an item online far under the usual price, and it’s on some rarely heard of site – likely as not, that’s another attempt to steal your hard-earned currency.
Internet Safety: Payment
One of the boons of using new-age currency digitally is how easy it is to exchange goods for payment. The net detriment though, is that often, those goods you purchase might fall beneath expectations. One recommendation for your safety would be to always utilize PayPal or credit cards – never wire transfer, nor send cash to anyone you do not know directly. PayPal and credit cards can cancel transfers or refund you directly in the case that something you purchase turns out to be a scam.
A warning for anyone that uses social media in any format – keep your information as anonymous as possible. Use different usernames across multiple sites – If you post an image to social media, do not post the same image to another site. Reverse image search trawlers can connect your accounts through this method. Likewise, never use your real name online, as people can backtrace you to your home itself with a few simple details.
In conclusion, these are a few brief tips to help you protect your funds alongside your identity itself from being compromised by potential bad actors with malicious intentions. Keep these in mind before you make your next profile, as it can save you tremendous amounts of heartache.
Want to learn more? Reach out to Arruda Group today.