In terms of technological advances, the Internet has probably been the most important invention in history. While it allows people to access tremendous amounts of information from all over, it also puts you in a position where you have to be careful about how your own information is handled. This is critical because purchases can be made on the Internet, and access to your bank accounts and other financial information can fall into the wrong hands if you’re careful. What we want to do here is offer practical Internet safety tips for everyone, no matter if you’re new to using the Internet or if you’ve been using it for your entire life.
The Basics of Password Protection
A password is designed to be a tool that only allows authorized individuals to access certain information. Passwords are used to protect all of your accounts, whether it’s for accessing the online reports for your retirement accounts or simply for logging in to play your favorite game. Along these lines, protecting your passwords and having solid policies concerning passwords will give you a lot of mileage towards keeping yourself safe.
The first thing to understand is that your password should not be easy to guess. While this might seem like common sense to some, the simple fact of the matter is that large-scale data breaches have shown that a fairly high percentage of users still protect their accounts with passwords based on their names, birthdays or other important things in their lives like the name of a spouse or pet. If someone is trying to get into your accounts, chances are they know you on some level, and they will have a good chance of guessing your password if you have one that falls into these types of categories.
Instead, you should use something that no one would be able to guess. Mix in upper-case letters, lower-case letters, numbers and special symbols for added protection, and consider using different passwords for different things. What you would hate to have happen is someone gain your username and password to something relatively unimportant like an online gaming site only to find that you use the same credentials for logging into your online credit card account. This is the key to why using different passwords, and different usernames if you can help it, is so important for Internet safety.
A tool I highly recommend and personally use is Roboform. It is the most popular password manager app and allows users to easily store and organize all their passwords. There are a host of features offered by Roboform including auto-filling passwords while logging into any site or program, a password generator that creates highly unique pass phrases, form fillers, sync passwords, backup and restore functionality and so much more. It also uses the same encryption technology that the US government uses. At the end of the day Roboform was one of the best investments I’ve ever made and it’s only $29 bucks for a lifetime license.
Protecting Your Computer From Malware And Viruses
One of the most common ways that passwords are stolen and other information is found in today’s online world is through the use of trojans, keyloggers and other types of viruses. The basic idea is that these are hidden programs that people can try to trick you into installing on your computer, often as a part of another program that you actually did want to install. Once this spyware, malware or whatever else is installed on your computer, it can often give people access to everything you’re doing. Every mouse movement, every keystroke and everything you see on your screen or hear over your speakers can be watched by them from that point on in many cases.
Naturally, this would make it very easy for hackers and other shady characters to steal your information and put your privacy and safety at risk. To help prevent this type of thing from happening. There are certain tools you can use to scan your computer like CCleaner, Malwarebytes and AVG Anti Virus. There are versions of tools like these available that give you a significant amount of protection for little or no cost, and that means you don’t have to spend anything to stay protected.
Email and Online Communications
Aside from secretly installing harmful programs on your computer, another way that people can try to steal your information is by tricking you into giving it to them via email and other types of online communications. If you have a banking account or electronic wallet (like PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, etc.) online, then be wary of emails that would give you a link to log in. A common trick is to send you a fake email which would then lead to a fake site that looks exactly like the real site for these companies.
The idea is to get you to mistakenly log in with your real username and password, which is then captured by the people behind the scam. This is a practice known as “phishing,” and if it happens to you, then you should change your password immediately and contact the customer service desk for the account in question.
Safety and Security for Gambling Online
For people who gamble online, whether it’s with online sportsbooks, online bingo rooms, online poker rooms, or one of the legitimate online casinos we recommend, safety and security are especially important. You’re sending and receiving money with deposits and withdrawals, and this means that your personal details and financial information (like credit card details, electronic wallet log-ins, etc.) are going to be used in some form or fashion. This is why we recommend taking special precautions.
It would be a good idea to create a separate email address that no one knows about that you only use for your online gambling accounts. If no one knows your email, they can’t try to get into it to compromise your accounts on these sites, and that gives you an extra layer of protection. Likewise, you should keep different usernames and passwords on all of these sites so that unauthorized access to one of them doesn’t mean unauthorized access to all of them.
Staying safe online doesn’t have to be a complicated matter. There are free tools out there today that are very effective in protecting your computer, and being a bit mindful of what you’re doing when you’re logging into sensitive accounts paired with proactive measures like keeping different usernames and passwords will make it extremely difficult for anyone to gain access to your information. An ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure in the online environment, and that’s why we have recommended the preventative methods that we have here.
The above tools are what I personally use to protect my computer, and I’ve never had a problem in 10 plus years of being an avid internet user and gambler.