Remember when Amazon was just a river, and instead of social media platforms, you actually had to go out to “socialize” with people? When you used to listen to the latest tracks over the radio, and when mobile gaming was limited to a snake game on your Nokia 6110. Things were so different before the internet took over the world. But now, the world has Facebook, Google, Amazon, and over a billion websites serving different purposes.
Like everything else, the methods of stealing your personal information or “hacking” have also changed. These different methods include viruses, Trojans, worms, ransomware, and malware. But regardless of what it is, one thing is for sure: we want to protect our PCs and our personal information at all costs when we are using the internet. Below are some ways in which you can maintain your digital privacy and keep your computers and personal information safe while using the internet:
- Use a strong password.
Websites like online banking sites, where confidential information about your bank account is stored, should be protected using a strong password. Using different passwords for different platforms that require a login is also recommended. In case you can’t remember all the passwords, consider using a password manager.
- Enable two-factor authentication (if available):
Two-factor authentication is an extra level of security added to your account when logging in to it. This additional level protects your account from getting hacked even if the hacker has access to your password. Your account can also be hacked if someone clicks on the “forget your password” option and answers some of your security questions correctly.
If you enable two-factor authentication, a random 6-digit code is sent to your phone to verify your identification. So even if someone’s got your password, they can’t log in to your account without that verification code.
- Update your PC’s operating software.
Many software updates entail some new security-related releases that can protect your system against some new forms of viruses. Ensure your system runs on the latest operating software supported by the developers. For example, the previous Microsoft operating systems, like Microsoft XP, are no longer recommended by the company, as they are not supported by Microsoft anymore.
- Always be careful about email attachments.
The most commonly used technique of spreading viruses and malware is via email. Some hackers and cyber thieves send hyperlinks and attachments through emails disguised as newsletters. Be extremely cautious before clicking on any links or attachments.
- Beware of phishing techniques.
Phishing is a social engineering attack technique often used by scammers to steal user data, including credit card information, login credentials, and social security numbers. The scammers use text messages or emails impersonating a trusted entity to trick you into giving out your personal information. The popular targets of such attackers usually are sites that require you to put in some personal information, like online banking sites, Amazon, PayPal, eBay, and others.
- Be careful while accepting any prompts.
When a popup appears on your computer screen to install a specific program or add-on, read the terms and conditions carefully, and if the program or add-on is unnecessary, close the popup.
Even when installing any program online, keep an out for any checkboxes that may ask if it’s okay to install a third-party program. These are never required, so make sure you keep the boxes unchecked.
It may seem tedious, but protecting your computer from viruses is essential for your safety. Some internet services also offer cyber protection add-ons in their internet plans to make sure your PC is protected from computer viruses. AT&T Bundles offers several internet plans specifically designed to fit the different needs of its customers. It provides a high-speed internet connection.