According to the majority of online users, the internet is arguably the best thing that has happened in modern history. However, although perusing the web can provide you with great knowledge, tons of entertainment, and a plethora of useful – and not so useful – information, it can also expose you to some serious security risks.
And even though our security is not always the first thing on our minds when browsing the web, it definitely should be. The more attention we pay to it, the less likely we are to fall victim to online scams and other similar security threats.
With that in mind, here are just some of the top security considerations everyone should keep in mind when browsing the web.
Check online reviews
First and foremost, no matter what you’re doing or looking for online, you need to make sure you see if there are any online reviews available about the matter. If, for instance, you’re looking for online pokies, make sure you first find a reputable website where you can learn more about what’s on offer. That way you can easily avoid falling victim to various online scams and unreliable websites that are only after your data, but offer next to nothing in return.
The same principle applies if you’re looking to purchase products online. Just because you may see various people raving about a certain product, that doesn’t necessarily have to mean that the product is good. So, first check the reviews of people who actually tried it out before you decide to spend your hard-earned cash.
Do your own research
Aside from checking the reviews from other users or consumers, you should also conduct your own research. Here, look for videos of the product being used – if you’re looking to purchase a product. That’s the best way you can see how it will perform and what you can expect to get.
Moreover, you should also research the company/provider before you choose to do business with them, to ensure that they’re a legit establishment. Look for their physical address (if they have one), contact their customer support and see how responsive they are. The fact of the matter is that businesses whose customer support is nonresponsive and who are difficult to get in touch with should be avoided, as chances are that your overall customer experience will be lacking if you choose to do business with them.
Pay attention to the information you choose to leave online
When interacting with the online environment – be it businesses, services, platforms or individuals – you’ll often be required to provide some of your personal information. And while it is true that some actions (such as purchasing products or hiring services) can’t be completed without this step, you need to be extra careful with what you share online and who you’re sharing it with.
If you’re, for instance, required to provide your bank details, make sure that the website is properly secured with SSL encryption. Whenever possible, try to enable multi-step authentication when signing up to any platform and service, to avoid leaving your profile too vulnerable to any unauthorized attacks. What’s more, ensure that the website itself is legit – and not just a fake copy of one – as fake websites are sadly becoming more and more prevalent.
Use secure connections and channels
Next, you should always make sure you do the most on your part and only use safe connections and channels when interacting with the online world. What we meant to say is that you should avoid using public and unsecured Wi-Fi connections if you're leaving any type of sensitive information online.
What’s more, you should ensure that your own device is properly secured and protected against any unauthorized intrusions. Also make sure you use a good VPN whenever possible, to bring an additional layer of security to your overall browsing experience. And finally, if you come across websites that ask you to turn off your antivirus or VPN, it would be best to simply abandon ship and look for similar offers elsewhere.
Avoid suspicious websites
As mentioned earlier, fake websites are starting to appear on the market in large numbers. And while it can sometimes be quite tricky to spot them, you can simply choose to avoid interacting with anything that simply looks suspicious.
There’s really no reason to potentially compromise your security for any offer you come across, as chances are you’ll be able to find the same or similar offer on websites that are legitimate and boast a good reputation. Therefore, remember to always be extra careful and meticulous when inspecting a website, and don’t hesitate to abandon the whole thing if anything – and we mean anything – starts looking suspicious or too good to be true.
Don’t fall for scams
Although avoiding scams can sometimes be easier said than done, it’s still quite important to keep them in mind when browsing the web. Needless to say, some scams are more obvious than others, which makes them quite easy to avoid. But the general rule of thumb is to avoid leaving too much of your personal information online, avoid suspicious and scammy websites, don’t ever fall for “You’ve won X amount of money” scams, and generally practice caution as much as possible.