There has been a significant upsurge in the usage of internet services in the past decade. As ISPs such as Spectrum Service rapidly develop cutting-edge network infrastructure, ultra-fast internet speeds are becoming accessible to nearly every household in America.
This increased availability has enabled such convenient access to entertainment, news, e-commerce, and many other avenues that are now just at a mere tap of the screen anywhere, whether in the comfort of our homes or on-the-go.
However, where this hyper-connectivity may have brought in much-dreamed technological convenience, evil lurks in the shadows of the online world, ready to pounce at the merest hint of vulnerability.
These online threats entail malware, viruses, spyware, ransomware, malicious hackers, and cybercriminals, who pose just a great danger as the ones in the real world.
Therefore, you and your family needs to be vigilant when navigating online to avoid any such exploitations. Here are some online mistakes you may be making that are exposing you to cyber threats:
- Is your browser a safe place for your passwords
1 out of 5 American’s online account password has been compromised at least once, according to a survey. In another survey by Google, it was revealed that two in three users reuse the same password across multiple accounts.
In today’s heavily digitalized world, we can access every service online, but for that, we need to create accounts and assign passwords. Consequently, most of us aren’t sure how many online accounts do each of us own and we even end up using the same password for most, while we forget about most.
So to tackle this annoyance, browsers like Google chrome offers to save your credentials as your login to any site, so you don’t have to input that information the next time you log in.
The convenience is undeniable but leaves you open to risks. In scenarios where someone else gains access to your device, they’d automatically gain access to your personal accounts with one click.
So at least, avoid saving passwords for your personal accounts in your browser; you can utilize this feature for dozens of other accounts you create in order to access a certain free service. Moreover, you can utilize safer and secure password management applications such as LastPass or Dashlane to store your passwords. Though not 100% reliable, still a better alternative than browsers.
- Data Sharing Makes You Vulnerable
You may be thinking we are hinting at social media, but that’s not all. Though social media channels are certainly the central avenues where anyone can access your personal information, of which you have been adequately warned off many times before. However, not many stop to consider that any channel, which prompts you to enter your personal information for registration or gaining access to exclusive offers can be the source of your information leak.
Moreover, the increasing digitization of public records such as addresses and property ownerships can enable any tech and research savvy individual to gain access to much sensitive information that any of your social media accounts can reveal.
- Do those free apps come with free risks?
We have millions of free apps available so we can enjoy innumerable shopping, news, and entertainment perks offered in the online world. However, this uninhibited access comes at a risk as at least 80% of e-commerce apps have been caught leaking personal user data.
Moreover, as soon as you install any app, they immediately request access to your phone contacts, gallery, microphone, messages, or geo-location. If one of those apps is not secure, your data can be stolen and privacy violated. On the other hand, malware-infected apps can wipe or steal confidential information straight from your device.
Therefore, avoid granting unnecessary access to your phone contacts and other features whenever you install a third-party app. In addition, only download and install apps from well-known platforms such as App Store and Google Play, which enforce rigid guidelines and strict monitoring systems on apps available on their platforms.
- Don’t shop on an unreliable site
It’s such a wonderful feeling when we tap on a button and our purchases get delivered to our home. As online shopping has gathered pace, so have the retail crimes linked to it.
If an e-commerce website is even slightly insecure, cybercriminals can exploit that chink in the armor in thousand ways including, user account information leaks, credit card fraud, spying of users’ online shopping activities, fake shopping frauds, and a lot more.
Therefore, exercise greater vigilance as you make your purchases online. Be very careful when entering credit card information. Most security experts suggest opting for secure payment methods such as PayPal wherever applicable.
Only shop via sites that are well-reputed; they may not be 100 percent secure but these retailers have much more powerful security checks and balances in place. Plus, in case of a compromise of data, well-known retailers can afford to compensate you. Moreover, check for HTTPS secured websites, in lieu of HTTP, as these have stronger data encryption in place.
- The problem with public Wi-Fi
Free public Wi-Fi may look like a treat but they are riddled with significant vulnerabilities as hackers and cybercriminals can easily tap into its unsecured network and take control of your connected device.
Avoid public Wi-Fi, though you can still connect to those Wi-Fi hotspots placed by your internet provider such as Spectrum, which requires your provider associated account credentials to access the network of 250,000 hotspots across the country. Moreover, do that over a secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection, and also avoid the use of critical login credentials when visiting a website. You have the choice of a personal hotspot connection as well, prefer using that.
You may feel a bit paranoid after reading up on the level of risks you encounter while online, but they are for the purpose of making you aware and vigilant. With some precautions, you can stay safe and enjoy all the perks the web has to offer. Better safe than sorry.
Baldwin Jackson is a successful digital marketer with expertise in search engine optimization and content marketing. The perfect balance of his analytical ability and creative thinking is what sets him apart from other practitioners in the digital marketing realm. He has helped a lot of small and medium-sized businesses in crafting their digital marketing strategies that are not only cost-effective but delivers results as well.
Baldwin is also a proud father of two kids and a Sports enthusiast. When he is not working, you will find him watching ESPN and NFL network. He has been able to get an amazing package on his favorite channels from Buytvinternetphone.com.