It's impossible to describe all the bad things about the internet. Hackers, viruses, scams, and many other dangerous things pop up all the time online, so do your best to protect yourself. However, many internet users are negligent when it comes to cybersecurity, for example, when using free public Wi-Fi for online shopping. Downloading files from unreliable websites, and easy-to-guess passwords because "nobody is interested in hacking my account."
- 1 Break bad online habits (and replace them with good ones)
- 1.1 1. Use the same password for everything
- 1.2 2. Ignore software updates
- 1.3 3. Download free software
- 1.4 4. Don’t use two-factor authentication
- 1.5 5. No lock screen protection
- 1.6 6. No computer password
- 1.7 7. No antivirus and antimalware software
- 1.8 8. Upload the file as-is to the cloud
- 1.9 9. Click on a link in an unfamiliar email
- 1.10 10. Download attachments without thinking
- 1.11 11. Using HTTP Sites
- 1.12 12. View your bank account on public Wi-Fi
- 1.13 13. Click on the virus warning pop-up
- 1.14 14. Use "123456" as your password
- 1.15 15. Download files from sketchy websites
- 1.16 16. Weak Wi-Fi passwords
- 1.17 17. Agree to all terms of software installation
- 1.18 18. Eliminate privacy concerns
- 1.19 19. Think your smartphone is inherently secure
- 1.20 20. Don’t use a VPN when using public Wi-Fi
Break bad online habits (and replace them with good ones)
While there are countless ways to get yourself into trouble online, these 20 dangerous online habits are too common to ignore. So let's roll up our sleeves and fix them one by one.
1. Use the same password for everything
This is one of the worst digital habits. If a hacker somehow manages to get the single password you use every time you log in, they'll have easy access to all your online accounts. So don't be lazy and think about a strong, unique password every time you create a new account, especially for banking or shopping sites. You also get reliablepassword managerto help you remember all unique passwords.
2. Ignore software updates
You, me, and most users find software updates annoying because they tend to pop up when you don't have time to deal with them. So what you usually do is hit the "Postpone" button, thinking you'll be back later. But you never will.
Keeping your antivirus/antimalware program up to date is critical to keeping your device safe from malicious threats. If you don't want to periodically check for updates, just let your app do this automatically.
3. Download free software
There are various free software available online. You can also find sites that offer free downloads of paid software. Before downloading anything, you have to ask yourself "why is it free?"
Usually, the answer is that it either collects a lot of data about you, bombards you with ads, it's stolen (and therefore illegal), or it's actually disguisedmalicious software. Therefore, you should be very careful when downloading any kind of software. Read reviews, make sure the site is legit, and have your antivirus at the ready - just in case.
4. Don’t use two-factor authentication
Although2FAMakes it extremely difficult for hackers to get into your private files and emails, yet too many people still don't use this awesome security feature.
Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your account and is available for many online services, including Gmail, Google Drive, Apple's iCloud, Twitter, and Facebook.
5. No lock screen protection
Unless you take your phone anywhere and leave it unattended for even a second, all you need is some kind of lock screen protection: a pattern, a PIN, or a password.
If you don't lock your screen, anyone can install malware or spyware on your phone without you noticing. If possible, you should also enable remote location and wipe so that if someone taps your phone, you can remotely delete all your private information.
6. No computer password
People store more private and sensitive information on their computers than anywhere else, but often do nothing to protect it. Don't make it easy for others to install spyware or steal your private information. Enter a password on your computer and lock it while you're away - even for a few minutes.
7. No antivirus and antimalware software
While ignoring antivirus updates is a bad digital habit, no software can protect you from malicious threats or worse. So now is the perfect time to get solid malware protection. Good news if you already use NordVPN - ourThreat ProtectionFeatures keep your browsing safe and prevent you from accidentally downloading malware.
8. Upload the file as-is to the cloud
You really need to store those precious gigabytes in your device's storage to sync files to the cloud. If you thought your data was safe sitting comfortably in the cloud...well, it's not. Most cloud companies can access your files on demand. Additionally, they are vulnerable to cyber-attacks and data breaches, which could put your sensitive data in the wrong hands. You can avoid this by encrypting your files before uploading them to the cloud to ensure your secrets are kept private no matter what. Easy-to-use data encryption tools such asNordLocker, will help.
9. Click on a link in an unfamiliar email
This is a classic example of bad online behavior. Many hacks and malware succeed because people open emails they receive from random strangers. this is calledPhishing, it happens to more people than expected. The purpose of phishing emails is to lure users to visit fake websites. From there, hackers can easily install malware on victims' devices or steal their passwords, credit card details, and other private information.
So the lesson here is simple: don't click the link if you don't know or trust the source.
10. Download attachments without thinking
And when we do - don't download any sketchy attachments either. If you don't know the sender, please don't click on anything in the email you receive. This is especially true if you're at work, as hackers can gain access to your company's sensitive files.
11. Using HTTP Sites
If you're browsing the Internet without paying attention to a website's URL, then you should start doing so. The "HTTP" in the address prefix means your connection is not secure, which means snoopers can see the data you share with the site. This is especially dangerous for online payments and situations where personal information needs to be provided. To be on the safe side, only browse sites that use SSL-encrypted connections, indicated by HTTPS.
If for some reason you need to access an unprotected website, please enable it first NordVPN extension. It will protect your HTTP traffic with strong encryption.
12. View your bank account on public Wi-Fi
This one is especially painful because we all love free Wi-Fi. However, public wireless networks often lack proper protection, leaving their users vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks and other nefarious ways for hackers and snoopers to gain access to your information.
While on public Wi-Fi, don't check any sensitive information, especially information related to work or money. Or better yet - get yourself a VPN to keep your communications secure even on public Wi-Fi.
13. Click on the virus warning pop-up
While visiting certain websites, you may face threatening pop-ups claiming to have found malware or viruses on your computer. Don't click on them as they tend to try to install malware or adware on your device.
14. Use "123456" as your password
While we all know we need stronger and better passwords to keep our data safe, the most common passwords in data breaches are "password" and "123456". Don't fall victim to cybercrime - get creative and come up with a good, unbreakable password to protect your data from prying eyes.
15. Download files from sketchy websites
It's not cool at all to download free pirated movies, games, and programs, and it's one of the easiest ways to get yourself malware. Be very careful on sites you don't trust, or even better - don't go there at all.
16. Weak Wi-Fi passwords
If you don't have a strong password on your home Wi-Fi, you may be vulnerable to hackers. If cybercriminals break into your network, they can snoop on you and collect your private information.
One of the best ways to create (and more importantly - remember) a password is to use a passphrase. You can use words from that song you like, or come up with an original phrase and shorten it using special symbols and numbers. For example: "I care about my privacy. My VPN provider is NordVPN" phrase can be translated into a very strong password "1camp.MVpiN"
17. Agree to all terms of software installation
It's a real pain to read the terms and conditions every time you want to install a new app, and no one will be surprised that you click "agree" without bothering to read what's written there. However, you should try to make reading at least some of these terms a new habit.
By agreeing to the terms without reading them, you may be allowing the software to do many things: collect information about you, listen to your conversations, install other software you don't need, etc.
18. Eliminate privacy concerns
If you feel like someone might be spying on you through your webcam, you're not paranoid. such as spying,webcam hackingAnd things like location tracking happen every day, but we're still not used to taking all the warnings seriously.
If you suspect someone is accessing your webcam without your consent, don't ignore your sixth sense. better read thisarticle, find out if your camera has been hacked, and take some steps to get out of this mess.
19. Think your smartphone is inherently secure
Since you probably carry your phone with you, it knows more about you than your diary or anyone else alive. So why don't you protect it?
With so much sensitive information stored on your phone, securing your mobile data should be the first thing you do when you get a new phone. Start by managing your security settings, adding lock screen protection andiPhoneorAndroidDownload the NordVPN app.
20. Don’t use a VPN when using public Wi-Fi
We've talked about the dangers of open Wi-Fi networks, so why are you still on that free hotspot without VPN protection?
Since such hotspots can be easily hacked or spoofed by cybercriminals, it is imperative to protect your connection with a VPN. NordVPN Passstrong encryptionProtects your data and has a range of extra security features to protect you from hackers,annoying ads, malware and other security threats.