The Internet has become so much a part of our lives that many people can no longer really imagine life without it. We as a web software producer of course can’t either. It is part of the normality to order products from the couch at home, book holidays or pay bills. The only curious thing is that due to the relaxed atmosphere at home, many people completely disregard the security precautions that you would take if you were still doing these things in a shop, travel agency or bank. Probably because, the dangers on the Internet are not as immediate and tangible as in the real world. You don’t take risks there. The wallet is safely stored, you cover the input field when you enter the card pin and generally you are very reluctant to give information about yourself to strangers. Why should this behaviour change once you are at the computer or smartphone?
What dangers lurk on the Internet?
There are countless dangers. To list them all in detail would go beyond the scope of this post. Because these range from identity theft, credit card fraud to real home invasion, because you have posted in the social media “to be on vacation for now”.
How does safe surfing work?
Fortunately, there are simple measures that you can take and rules that you should follow and the risk is reduced to a minimum. Here you will find the most important things to consider.
1. Keep your software up-to-date
Updates are important and often improve the security of the software. Older versions can therefore quickly become a gateway for unwanted guests. So keep all your programs up-to-date. Browsers, operating systems, antivirus programs all ensure the highest level of protection in your latest and most current version.
2. Surf as private as possible
What does private surfing mean? Anyone who does not surf privately provides many online services continuously with information about a number of personal data and behaviour patterns. Using the well-known cookies, a detailed user profile can be created that knows more about you than you think. This goes to GPS data, character traits and social contacts. If you are interested in what internet giants like Google know about you, you should definitely download the collected data. You can do that here, for example.
But not only google collects such data, but also less serious players on the net. If you want to protect yourself from this, you should make sure that your browser history and other website data are automatically deleted when you close the browser window. You can find this option in the browser settings. There is also the possibility to use the incognikto mode of your browser. If you want to be completely on the safe side, you can also use a VPN service (Virtual Private Network).
3. Use secure passwords
This point is so self-explanatory that it is quite strange that it still has to be taken seriously in such a list. What are passwords for? To protect access to accounts in which sensitive personal data is usually stored, or even to buy things easily due to stored payment methods. Nevertheless, many people use the same password for everyone or use a password like “123456”. No joke – in 2019, this password was the most commonly used password according to HPI. Our recommendation is: Use a password manager to manage secure passwords.
4. Purchases and transfers only from secure sites
But when is one side safe you ask yourself? Have you ever noticed that some web addresses start with “http” and some with “https”. The “s” stands for “secure” – secure. In addition, a lock symbol is displayed in the search bar to show you that this page is secure. So if you give out data about yourself or make purchases/transfers online, look for the “https” and the lock symbol.
5. Be careful what you download
A major goal of cybercriminals is to get you to download malware programs or applications that contain malware or attempt to steal information. This malware can be disguised as an application: anything from a popular game to something that checks traffic or the weather. We therefore advise you not to download applications that look suspicious or come from a website you don’t trust. Often a simple download can happen just by clicking the wrong link. If you want to play it safe here, you can use our free Chrome Extension Link Preview. – click here to download – This is to make sure that you avoid wrong clicks on the internet.
If you comply with all the above points, this is already a big step towards security on the Internet. And yet, despite all the caution, you should not forget that it should still be fun. So: Have fun but keep safe!