Internet Security 101 for Beginners to Stay Safe Online

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The internet has become so intertwined in our everyday life that it is rare that an hour goes by where we have not utilized its capabilities. Practically everyone uses email to keep in touch with friends and family near and far and for both studying and/or work. 

The growth of digital photos, firstly through the rise of digital cameras and then through our phones, allows us now to share images instantaneously online to those close to us both near and far. Music and Video subscription services now allow us to listen to the latest music and watch all the best shows with a couple of clicks of a button. 

And yet while all of this has revolutionized the way we live our lives we need to be aware of the dangers we face when accessing the internet on such a regular basis. 

This is mainly manifested through the growth of the spreading of online viruses and malware. Hackers originally set their sights on attacking government and corporations, but they then saw the value in attacking the everyday household to get what they wanted. 

The damage that can be caused by these viruses does vary but it is not something that you want to have ruining your device or stealing parts of your identity. Luckily there are a host of easy steps that can allow you to increase your security when you are on the internet.  

The first thing you should do on each of your devices that you access the internet on is to ensure you have up-to-date antivirus software running. You can either purchase software or you will be able to find some free and low-cost antivirus services that will help protect you. 

Be sure to go into your antivirus program and make sure it is the latest edition as hackers are always developing new ways to attack your computer. Regular scans by the software will keep viruses away and help your peace of mind.

You can also protect yourself by being cautious about the files that you receive, open and download. The most common way that viruses are spread is via email attachments. 

Be sure that when you open your emails, and more importantly their attachments, that you only do so from trusted sources. Many email account services now have levels of security that will help identify what might be a risk. 

If you don’t trust the source of the email, then be sure to not open the attachment. Some antivirus software will also have the option to scan your emails to make sure that you are not opening anything dangerous.

You can also use a VPN to encrypt your internet traffic and stop any preying eyes from spying on you when using the internet. This piece of software runs on your computer, phone or TV and encrypts data between your device and the internet, routing via a foreign location. There are many different free and paid vpn providers out there that you could use. 

Finally, be sure that you don’t share personal details such as logins and passwords to your sites via any non-secure means. Hackers may be able to access your emails find these details and then use them to access your accounts.

If you take these precautions, you will be sure to continue using the internet in a safe manner that will protect you from the damage of your computer and threats of identity theft.