As your online purchase and banking options continue to grow, so does your need for proper security. In some cases, online security can be simple as checking your bank accounts every two days to stay on top of things. However, you should definitely set up proper internet security in order to protect yourself from online fraud. Thankfully, there are many tools and methods that will help you stay safe online.
Start Being Suspicious Email Attachments
Today, it is common knowledge that you should not open attachments from untrusted sources, but somehow, people keep clicking. The first quarter of this year saw a massive increase in the number of suspicious emails containing malicious attachments. As Kaspersky Lab reports, more than 22 million unsolicited emails were detected in the first three months of 2016, which is four times more than the average for the same period in 2015. However, even if you get an email from a friend or a family member with a strange attachment, contact them and ask them about it before you click on it. Also, keep in mind that email addresses can easily be spoofed so if you get a note from a business you trust, it can easily be fake, and the URL can lead you to an unexpected location.
Learning How to Identify Phishing Attacks
While we are on a subject of suspicious emails, let’s say a few words about phishing attacks. According to the 2016 State of the Phish report, more than 85% of organizations have suffered a phishing attack in the past 12 months. But large organizations aren’t the only ones that regularly fall victim to these malicious attacks. Usually, a phishing attack consists of an email that contains a generic offer in the hope of luring the unsuspected user into providing personal information before he or she realizes there is a problem. So if you’re filling out a form, give out the minimum amount of information and nothing more – even if the requester is legit. First, you have to understand why a certain organization needs your personal information, and if the organization is legit, they will answer your questions right away. And always trust your instincts, because if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Your Passwords Need to Be More Secure
Now, the thing is – passwords provide you with a great security layer – the only problem is, most people are simply using them wrong. If you ask any IT professional, he will tell you not to reuse passwords, and use a different one for every social media, email or website account. But as Security Intelligence reports, over 1 billion personal files were stolen last year, mainly because of weak login credentials. You cannot use a password like “12345” or “password” (both of these are surprisingly, still extremely popular, especially among the older crowd), your password needs to use letters, numbers and even special characters if possible. But a strong password is still worthless if you use it on all of your accounts, and while it may be hard to remember multiple complicated passwords for different accounts, services like Last Pass and Keepass will help you manage passwords for all of the sites networks you use.
Picking a Secure VPN Provider
I’m sure you might know what a Virtual private network is, but you’re probably don’t use one, but even if you don’t think so, you need a VPN more than ever. For the ones of you that don’t know, a VPN is a group of computer connected over the Internet that encrypts all of the data you’re sending and receiving, and protects your identity.. With so many providers offering their services, choosing the right one for your particular needs may be an overbearing task for almost anyone, but there are some features that separate the good from bad providers out there.
As you start researching VPNs, you will come across terms like SSL, L2TP and many other VPN types. While all of these protocols provide a certain layer of security, some like PPTP come with vulnerabilities, while others like OpenVPN provide great protection, but slow your speed down.
Using a VPN all by itself doesn’t mean that you are invulnerable by any means, so you should make sure that the provider you go with offers good anti-malware and anti-spyware features. But we have to point out that most free providers don’t offer any security features, so if you want your browsing sessions to be completely secure, it is better to opt for a paid service.
So if you are going to spend a couple of bucks on a service, find a provider that offers a constant experience across all systems and devices. While most VPNs offer desktop and mobile solutions, you have to see how compatible they are. For instance, as you can see in this ExpressVPN review, Express is compatible with every major operating system on the market, including, Windows, iOS, Android, and many, many more.
Conclusion: Stay Up-to-Date and Careful
Some of you may find it inconvenient to pick up the phone and call the business that just emailed you asking for your private data. If that is the case with you, and something doesn’t seem right, just delete the email, or set aside and ignore it until you have the time to clear up why they need your info. In most cases, however, a quick Google search of the company will reveal what’s really going on, and if the company is fake or not. Also, if you have an antivirus, make sure that everything is up-to-date, because dated protection software is basically useless.
That’s it, These were the top tips that can help you to keep yourself secure from online fraud. If you have any other pro tip/s in mind then please do share it with us via comment section below.