The digital realm keeps evolving, giving rise to new opportunities and threats. As smartphone apps become more popular than traditional websites, they expose us to multiple cyber threats. Common users don’t understand basic internet safety rules and become victims of financial scams, identity theft, and even physical harm from people they meet online.
The only way to avoid these problems is by browsing the web safely. This article discusses how to browse the web safely to keep your online privacy intact and stay away from cybercriminals.
What does secure browsing mean?
Before discussing safe browsing habits, we need to understand what it means to browse the web safely.
Secure browsing is the practice of using special security software, and ethical browsing habits stay protected against cyberattacks and hackers. Many browsers offer different tools, plug-ins, and extensions to practice safe browsing. Google ensures secure browsing for its users through the Google Safe Browsing feature.
VPNs also play a vital role in preventing unsafe browsing. They create a secure tunnel for users to stay active online away from the reach of hackers and cybercriminals. VPNs also make it safe to use public networks by adding a layer of security to your device through encryption.
How do I browse the web safely?
The Internet is like a safe city unless you start wandering into shady alleyways. Some hard-to-see pitfalls can expose your personal information or infect your device with malware in one careless click. So, how to make browsing safer? As mythical as it may sound, it’s not hard to browse safely and preserve your digital hygiene.
If you are wondering how to browse the web safely, start practicing healthy browsing habits. Keep your browser and antivirus updated, and avoid using spammy websites. Be limited with sharing your personal information online. And lastly, create a protective shield around your browsing activities through VPNs. Here are some tips for practicing safe browsing.
1. Be careful what you click on
Cybercriminals are savvy and prey on human curiosity (among other things). One of their top tricks is to get you to download malware on your devices. They disguise these malware programs as popular games or seemingly unharming smartphone apps, like a weather checking app. Sometimes they also send suspicious URLs via email or messages.
When a user clicks on the link or downloads the app, hackers get immediate access to their device. To avoid exposing your personal information, including photos and private conversations, only download apps from reliable sources and never click on shady links.
2. Choose strong passwords
Passwords are the most common feature used by nearly every online platform. But these are also one of the weakest spots in the internet security structure. While there may not be a way to avoid using passwords, you can choose a strong one to tighten your account security. Quick hint – it’s not 123456789, which is the second most common password in the world.
A strong password is something complex enough for cybercriminals to decode. Some of the biggest mistakes people make in the password territory is using their birth date, cell phone number, or social security number. As easy as they are for you to remember, they are the easiest ones to guess for hackers. So, it’s better to use a unique and complex password containing letters, numbers, and special characters. While shorter passwords are easy to remember, longer ones are harder to guess for cybercriminals.
3. Use a secure VPN connection
Another method for secure browsing is using a VPN. But does VPN make browsing safer? While it may not be a cure-all, it is currently the most powerful tool to maintain online security and privacy. Many people use VPNs to access public Wi-Fi connections, which gives them better control over their safety. Sharing sensitive information over public networks, like bank details, can have severe consequences. So, it is better to use a VPN to ensure your activities are safe from prying eyes.
4. Make online purchases from secure sites
Online shopping is the new norm, especially in the post-COVID era. While it brings the comfort of getting what you need right at your doorstep, it also opens new doors for hackers and cybercriminals.
When you purchase something from a website, your credit card information is required. Payment card details are sensitive data that can cause problems for you if leaked into the hands of the wrong people. To avoid any mishaps, make sure you buy stuff from a secure site. One easy way to check if a site is secure or not is to look at its address. A website is secure if the address contains HTTPS instead of HTTP. You can also see a tiny padlock icon in the address bar.
To add another layer of security, use a VPN before entering your account details on the site.
5. Regularly Update Your Antivirus Program
There’s no point in having an antivirus program on your device if it is not up-to-date. While internet security software may not protect you against every cyber threat, it detects and removes most malware. An updated antivirus prevents your device from various spyware, Trojans, and viruses. It will also deliver real-time updates about the condition of your device, significantly if it has been compromised.
Safe online browsing Is not a myth
Many people wonder how to browse the web safely if there is no way to achieve absolute online privacy. With governments, corporations, and individuals harnessing user data for their interests, it can be hard to believe if there is any privacy online. But it is not entirely true because safe browsing and internet security are not myths. Users can practice careful browsing and combine it with robust security tools, like VPNs, to ensure online privacy.