Watching the Watchers: 8 Tips to be Safe from Internet Snoopers

September 20, 2013 | By Editor

Internet SecurityThe internet is a boon for billions of people around the globe that has led to better connectivity, communication, job opportunities and changed the world for good.

However, there is a dark side.
When you are posting on the Internet, imagine a shady character hiding behind a tree watching your every move. Well, they are not behind trees, but they are out there watching.

Every hacker and malware developer is after your private data. It can be anything your post, including your picture, home address, social security number, medical Ids, banking or financial information and more. Everything is useful to a hacker. They may be targeting your for a specific reason, such as gaining access to your company and its date. They may pass it onto people who are willing to pay for it.

You need to take a proactive approach to protect your privacy and your data. Developers come up with new security patches almost every day, but snoopers and hackers always find new vulnerabilities to exploit. You can’t wait for other people to find the answers to protect you!

Here are some tips to stay one step ahead of the snoopers!
1) Look for the green bar
Every time you enter personal information on a form there could be someone trying to intercept your entries. You need to look for SSL certificate seals and green address bar. It means you have a secure, encrypted connection and, critically, there is a high level of assurance that the site is actually a legitimate operation and is who you think they are. Needless to say, this goes doubly true financial websites where you do money transaction.

2) Never pay ransom:
Some take the direct approach and just try to take your money. An all too popular tactic is called “ransomware”. You click on the wrong link or visit the wrong site and all of a sudden the bad guys have control of your computer and have locked you up. They give you some phony excuse, such as you are violating the law or are infected with viruses. Only if you agree to pay the demanded sum as ransom, access to the PC will be given back without any damages done to the files.

Most of the time, they take your money and never unlock your computer!

3) Prioritize your Passwords:
For example, too many people use the same or similar passwords for all of the services they use on the Internet. I completely understand. It is really hard keeping track of all the user id’s and passwords you need to operate in today’s world. However, you should sit down and prioritize your services so the most important have unique passwords. For example, I use a unique passwords for my email account and online banking passwords.

4) Don’t write your passwords down in a single file:
Use cloud storage services but avoid storing all your passwords in one single file. Even in the digital era, it is always wise to go for analog methods and personally write down what you need in a piece of paper.

5) Strategize your email accounts:
In managing your emails, you should follow the old adage “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. I use one email account for business and another for personal matters and I try not to mix the two. I also have an email I give out when I think it might be used to spam me. That happens all the time when signing up for services.

6) Choose your web browser wisely and keep security features turned on at all times:
Snoopers nowadays rely more on java apps because they have plenty of vulnerabilities. Bug fixes may take time and it is wise to disable java for better internet security until a solid solution is found.

7) Before you share, remember people may be watching:
As I said at the outset, you need to behave as if you are being watched all of the time.

I know, some of us just love sharing online. However, if you want to be safe you need to minimize whenever possible and avoid sharing every minute detail on social networking websites.

8) Use Comodo Internet Security:
Comodo’s unique Default Deny strategy and it auto sandbox approach ensures that only safe files are run by your system. If a file is not confirmed safe, it is run and tested in safe, isolated area called a sandbox. That is why Comodo is the only vendor that guarantees perfect protection.

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