7 Quick Online Security Tips For Beginners!

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▶ Cyber-criminals and Hackers are constantly trying to exploit the beginners who have just stepped into the world of Internet.

▶ Every day, thousands get a new Internet connection with absolutely no knowledge on their online security. They directly start using the Internet without being aware of serious security threats that exists here.
▶ I strongly believe, one should just not start using the Internet without knowing the basic aspects of online security.
▶ And hence, to protect the beginners from falling prey to traps set by hackers, I have complied a 7 basic online security tips they must read.
▶ Even if you are a not a beginner, you may still want to brush up your online security awareness. The do’s and dont’s!Please do share this with all your friends on Facebook and twitter and do your part to keep the Internet safe.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever”

These words were said by the great Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

Every one living on this earth is a student in one or the other way. Yes! We all learn every instant as the time passes and we will keep learning till our last breathe.

Learning is Life. Well, keeping that in mind, I want to dedicate this article to all beginners reading this.

With such large number of beginners using the Internet, hackers and cyber-criminals place traps to exploit their innocence.

Well, I don’t call it innocence, I call it ignorance. A ignorance which could prove fatal anytime.

Yes, there are many good things on the Internet, I agree, but they are bundled with the bad things. Beginners who ignore online security are always at risk of being hacked and exploited.

So then, how to avoid getting hacked or exploited?

Well, below is the answer. Seven simple online security tips which you have to always keep in mind before doing anything on the Internet.

Now, lets take a look at them.

Online Security Tips For Beginners

1. Think before you Click!Seven Quick Online Security Tips For School and College Students

Yes, never click on something before thinking. This is the first and foremost thing which you need to follow.

Before clicking on anything on the Internet, make sure it is trustworthy.

Now the question arises – How to know if the link is trust worthy? Well, there are simple things which you need to notice like the URL of the link.

Just place your mouse on the link or the image you are about to click, you will see the URL towards your bottom left corner of the screen. Looking at the name and applying simple common sense, you will know whether to click on it or not.

This tool from Mcafee can further help you with this.

 2. Get Back to the BasicsSeven Quick Online Security Tips For School and College Students

It sounds simple, but regularly updating your computer’s operating system and other software applications you use is one of the most important ways to protect yourself.

Often, the updates are sent to fix a security hole and make the application more secure. Hence, they should never be ignored.

Security software is the backbone of any computer and hence I always recommend you to have an antivirus application or an Internet Security suite installed on your computer with all latest updates.

Loads of viruses and worms are born every day. Thus, having your antivirus or Internet security suite up-to-date becomes very important.

3. Passwords must be secret!

Do I need to tell you that the passwords must be secret!

Don’t mistake me but I have to tell you this. Some of you share your passwords with friends and sometimes even with strangers. Never ever do that. Passwords are secret and that is the way they are meant to be.

I have written a comprehensive article about passwords, you can take a look at it.

When it comes to how a password should be, there are few things which you need to remember.

A password should be minimum 8 characters long and should include lower lower case alphabets, upper case alphabets, numbers and special characters such as !@#$%^&*(){}[]. I mean, the passwords should be complex and not simple to guess.

Do not use your personal information in the passwords. Also, avoid using “abcd”, “password”, “1234” and many such characters as your passwords as they can be easily cracked.

Do not to use the same password for multiple sites. If a password gets compromised on one site, it may allow hackers to log into other accounts with the same credentials.

If you’re having trouble remembering all your passwords, try using an online password manager, such as LastPass.

4. Keep your eyes wide open when on P2P SitesSeven Quick Online Security Tips For School and College Students

I suggest you to minimally use the P2P (peer-to-peer) sites or the torrents. It is always better to download files from the original software developer websites.

On a P2P site, you just have no guarantee about the file you are downloading. It might have a virus, malware or even worse in store for you.

Some of these will help the hacker capture your important financial passwords, bank details, some more critical data and also crash your system completely.

If you still choose to take that risk, you should at least take a few precautions, like reading the user comments before you download the file.

These days, popular P2P sites offer a pretty accurate rating system that can provide you with a sense of just how these downloadable files have performed for other users. Always have a look at that.

5. On Facebook and Twitter, be cautious!

Most of you use Facebook and twitter to connect with friends. It has become an integral part of our life these days.

But you hardly pay any heed to the security aspects on it. Have you ever wondered what consequences you might face from your social media life?

Cyber-criminals and hackers scour social media sites all the time to learn about potential targets.

They’ll use the information they have gathered and send you highly-targeted emails, pretending to be from your boss, friend, or family member.

Some go a step further and send mails to others pretending to be you.

It’s also why you should always watch what you say online. Revealing too much information could be just enough to tip off a cyber-criminal.

Sometimes, small changes from these social media websites can cause big problems. Take for example, Facebook changed your default email to @facebook.com without your consent. If you don’t take actions quickly to fix it, then you are at high risk as any one can spam you much more easily than ever before. So always adjust your privacy settings to protect yourself from such  possible issues.

Friend requests – some have this policy – “Higher the number of friends, higher the reputation”. Wrong, that’s simply very wrong. If you get a friend request from someone you don’t know, a social bot may be using this as an opportunity to hack into your network. Don’t ever accept such requests unless and untill you find it to be enough legitimate.

You know what? The bot could collect all the necessary information required and try hacking into your profile and later spam all other profile from yours.

To further help you with this, Bitdefender has a cool tool called Bitdfender Safego. It is free and you can use it help you on Facebook and twitter.

6. Watch Videos but do not download any .exe or other filesSeven Quick Online Security Tips For School and College Students

Online videos are a buzz these days. Especially with beginners who often spends more time watching videos online than any other group.

Knowing this fact, hackers try and exploit video sites by placing ads which ask you to download some .exe files or browser add-ons.

Once you download such a add-on or .exe file, it can easily work in your system background and send all the necessary information that the hacker wants in real-time.

Never download any software from such video sharing sites, know that watchning a video should never require running an executable (.exe) file except the Adobe Flash Player and sometimes the Divx player (for divx video formats).

 7. Never jump-in into unknown Wi-Fi HotspotsSeven Quick Online Security Tips For School and College Students

Most of you get thrilled as soon as you find a free Wi-Fi hotspots.

You just jump into their Wi-Fi network thinking you can make some quick downloads with no second thoughts.

Don’t ever do that! The Wi-Fi owner can gain access to you Laptop/tablet/smart phone easily once you connect to his network.

So, before you connect, verify that the Wi-Fi network name is from a legitimate service. Do not connect to random, unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

It is always better to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), as it allows you to route all your activity through a separate, secure, private network, even if you’re on a public one.

Several services are available, or you can even go with an app like Hotspot Shield, which sets a VPN automatically.

Bonus Tip : Keep your Security Software on while Gaming

Don’t disable your security software when gaming.

Yes, experiencing a high-speed connection with minimal interruptions is important, but not at the expense of security.

Instead, look for “game mode” in your security software. This setting will never interrupt you while you’re in the middle of your game. It will also keep you protected.

Last Thoughts

Staying vigilant is always good when using Internet. Keep all the above simple things in your finger tips so that you never fall prey ever to any cyber-criminal or hacker.

Whenever you find something fishy, take the next steps with care and common sense.

And as always keep rocking and do your part to keep the Internet safe for your online community.

 Read more at mashable.com

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