The Black-hat hackers and cyber-crimes are becoming a more common sight online, and they are getting increasingly clever at figuring out ways to get to your personal data. Most of the time malware or ransomware will do the work for them, and scams are getting more complex given the practice criminals have had online.
You should regard your internet security as being constantly tested. Do you even know where you stand?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to test if you are doing everything you need to:
Can someone find your IP address?
First, check out this website that will tell you what it thinks is your IP address. Is it correct? Is your general location listed on the website? If a simple preprogrammed website can do that, what can a cybercriminal do based off of your IP address? Staying private is an important part of internet security, and many people don’t notice this hole in their defense.
To protect yourself you will want to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which is a service that will connect you to an offsite secure server using the best possible encrypted connection. It redirects or better to say reroutes all your traffic through this server so your IP address gets masked, keeping you anonymous online. The encryption keeps you safe on otherwise dangerous public networks, on which hackers can intercept on your vital data may be it’s personal or financial leading to the identity as well as credentials theft). People even use them for things such as getting around regional restrictions and fighting back against oppressive governments.
Do You Have the Following?
- Every computer needs an online security suite to be properly safe online. Don’t bother with a free one, as they are either not up to the task or collect data on you so the creators can still make a profit.
- Are you using the best passwords and verification measures on all of your online accounts? Pay special attention to your email, as it is the gateway to nearly all of your other accounts.
- Do you have a backup of your computer so that you have more options in case it comes under attack? Sometimes it is just best to pull the plug without hesitation and restore later.
- If you happen to run a blog or a website, do you have proper security tools and plugins for that site? Many hackers will attack people through their online assets, and you might have information attached to it you don’t want to be released to the public.
- Have you trained yourself how to spot scams and phishing emails? The decent ones aren’t the poorly written ones you laugh at but well-crafted material designed to get you to part with information. Are you always suspicious?
Do You Know If You Have Cookies or Malware?
Cookies are small files installed into your browser that is used to supply information to websites you visit more than once. Cookies are often used as a tracking tool, so you need to know how to delete them from your browser. This is often done in the options menu of your internet browser, sometimes in the advanced options. If you still have no luck, do an online search on how to find cookies for your particular browser. After that, just delete the ones that you feel could be a threat.
You should also be able to manually detect malware on your computer by searching through your documents and files. Have a general idea of what’s on your computer and investigate anything that doesn’t fit. If you have malware, you can’t consider yourself secure no matter what else you do to protect yourself.
Internet security is a constantly shifting goal, so these questions may change. What won’t change is the fact that good habits and tools make one much safer online. After testing yourself, you can make the changes to your devices that will make you a safer online denizen.
Have any other thoughts on the subject? Please leave a comment below if you know of any additional ways to test your internet security. We love to hear about different ideas and viewpoints.