How To Protect Your Online Security
By Paul Liu
Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
The internet has opened up a whole new world of information and opportunity for everyone. However the online world could also be a dangerous place since there are plenty of hackers and cyber criminals lurking in the background waiting to steal personal information and money from unsuspecting netizens. For this reason it makes sense to be proactive and take preventive steps to safeguard your online security and privacy.
Here are some simple but extremely effective ways to protect your online security:
1) Sharing of personal information – Protection of personal information is crucial if you want to protect yourself from monetary loss or identity theft. Do not share your personal details such as social security number, email addresses, passwords, credit card numbers or banking account details with people or sites that you don’t trust. Before buying something online, make sure to check that the merchant site uses secure protocols to protect your credit card information and banking details.
To protect your online information, it is also vital to choose strong passwords that cannot be cracked easily. Make sure to choose a long password that includes a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Do not choose a password that contains your name, date of birth or any other personally identifiable information. Do not use one password for multiple sites; instead use a password manager such as Roboform to manage your login and password information.
2) Anti-virus software – The internet is infested with viruses, spywares, trojans, keyloggers and other malicious code that can steal your personal and financial information in the blink of an eye. That’s why it is very important to choose a trusted anti-virus software that can protect your computer and online sessions against data loss, crashes, hacking and theft. Make sure that your anti-virus software is scheduled to update automatically to deal with latest security threats and continuously runs in the background to provide you security at all times.
Most modern anti-virus softwares include anti-spyware and firewall to provide you complete protection but if your anti-virus software doesn’t include these two, install a firewall and anti-spyware software in addition to anti-virus software. There are several reputed anti-virus softwares such as McAfee, Trend Micro, Bitdefender, etc. that provide great protection against viruses, spywares and other online threats. There is also an option of using Microsoft Security Essentials to protect your Windows based computers.
3) Virtual Private Network – Using a virtual private network (VPN) is perhaps one of the best ways to protect your personal information and online privacy. A VPN uses latest security and encryption techniques to create a secure tunnel around your online activities which cannot be cracked even by using sophisticated algorithms. A VPN also allows you to bypass geographical restrictions and firewalls put in place by Governments, ISPs and organizations. By using a VPN, you can protect your real IP address from content providers and shield your online activities from higher authorities. There are several well known VPN providers like IPVanish, HideMyass, StrongVPN, PureVPN, Private Internet Access, etc. that provide totally safe and secure online experience at affordable rates.