Accessing Internet Securely

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The Internet is a big place, and it is full of people who can do harm to you. This harm may come by way of you simply opening some website or you downloading something from a website or email and through many more advanced methods. So, how do you secure yourself against such harm?

Accessing internet securely

The following are some of the tips:

  • Use a wired network instead of a wireless network as wireless networks are prone to sniffing attacks wherein a hacker may be able to “sniff” the data being sent wirelessly by advanced methods.
  • Do not open any websites/links that you didn’t want to open willingly in the first place. Do not get lured by misleading texts on websites offering you money or rewards for opening websites. When you open a website, check the link in your web browser to enure that you are not browsing a phished website.
  • Do not download anything that you didn’t want to open willingly in the first place. Again, do not get lured by misleading texts on websites offering you money or rewards for downloading something.
  • Do not open links in spam email.
  • Websites which request more personal information than you would normally expect to give, such as user name, password or other security details IN FULL, are probably malicious.
  • Switch to search-engines like DuckDuckGo which do not collect or store your private information or follow you around with ads.
  • Use an anti-virus program and firewall which catch any suspicious programs and also prevent any suspicious programs from connecting to your computer.
  • Disable third-party cookies. A third-party cookie is placed on a user’s computer through a web-browser by a Web site from a domain other than the one a user is visiting. All cookies contain some data which can be communicated back and forth with the original website. Thus, cookies remember something about you.
  • Always use HTTPS version on websites. A browser plugin/extension named HTTPS Everywhere will help you to automatically load HTTPS version of websites.
  • Minimize the usage of browser plugins since they may be able to steal your data, monitor your internet traffic, and do much more serious stuff with your data.
  • Use Ad-blocking plugins/extensions on web-browsers. Ads can also be used to track you across websites thus invading your privacy. Ad-blockers disable such ads.
  • Disable Trackers in websites you visit by using plugins like PrivacyBadger from EFF. Trackers, as the name suggests, are able to track you across websites, invade your privacy and thus serve you ads.
  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to keep your internet traffic safe from sniffers. It will help you in hiding your identity but will not make you totally anonymous since all internet traffic from your device first goes to the VPN Server and from there it is relayed to the actual website you wanted to access thus making the traffic appear from the VPN Server.
  • Do not connect to Public WiFi without using a VPN. Public WiFi are known to be dangerous and prone to data theft and cyber-attacks. VPNs encrypt your data and thus protect you against data theft and cyber attacks.
  • Use a secure Domain Name System (DNS) Server. We all know that DNS handles the conversion of human-readable website names into computer-understandable IP addresses. Most of the internet enabled devices use a default set of DNS Servers provided by your service provider. Thus, your service provider will be able to see what websites you are visiting. Secure DNS Servers (e.g. Cloudflare) let you overcome this hurdle and browse in privacy.
  • Always log out of your accounts on public networks.
  • Use On-Screen Keyboards instead of hardware keyboards to bypass keyloggers.
  • Do not “Remember” passwords on public computers.
  • Enable Two Factor Authentication (2FA) whenever you see the option for the same.
  • Change your passwords frequently.
  • Use TOR for having most amount of anonymity.
  • Keep your Operating System and Anti-Virus updated so that you are protected against the latest cyber-threats.
  • And last and the most important, always backup your data for worst case scenario.

For Wikipedia entry on Internet, click here.

For more posts on Internet, click here.

For more posts in The Cyber Cops project, click here.

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