To be most successful, a cybercriminal seeks to remain undetected for as long as possible so they can steal as much sensitive data as they can for as long as they can – and browsing the web serves as an opportune time to do so. However, by using the following five tips, you can help yourself, loved ones and colleagues thwart cybercriminal activity while browsing the web.
- Use automation to your advantage
Configure your browser to either block or alert you to pop-ups, which is a simple yet impactful method of protection while browsing. Also, turn on auto-updates for your browser, browser plugins and any software that runs in your browser.
- Always exercise discretion
Use a secured website for private information. A web address with “http” means it isn’t secured with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). A website with “https” and the lock symbol will indicate it is secured with SSL.Never ignore search engine warnings. If the search engine shows a site might be malicious, do not visit the site.When something pops up on your screen that you find suspicious, always hit “X” in the top corner, instead of hitting the “Cancel” or “Ignore” button. Those two buttons are frequently used to trick a person into downloading malicious software.
- Be thoughtful about passwords
It is good practice to create passwords that use a combination of numbers, letters, and special characters and are on the longer side. Be sure to change the passwords regularly, and never use the same password on multiple platforms.Never stay logged on to a device once you step away, unless you are in a secure location. Set your devices and websites to time out after a short period of inactivity. Avoid browsing while signed into accounts, and before signing into an account with sensitive information, close all other windows and tabs.
- Follow best practices
Cover the webcam on your computer or laptop when not in use because cybercriminals can turn it on without your knowledge and watch you.Be sure to back up your data physically and/or on the cloud. While cybercriminals are
not necessarily seeking to steal your data, the goal can sometimes be to encrypt it or erase it entirely.
- Do not forget about your mobile devices
It should become second nature that implementing methods to safeguarding browser activity on your computer translates to your mobile devices, especially as they play such a large role in our internet experience. Using biometrics is a strong method of protection,
and make sure to turn off your Bluetooth and never automatically connect to public WiFi.
Despite what we read or see on the news, it can be easy to think we are immune to cybercriminal attacks, that something like that “can’t happen to me.” Remember that none of us are safe from the potential dangers of browsing the web, so utilizing these tips can make a significant difference. Let us all do our part to communicate this information to those around us to ensure that none of us fall victim to cybercriminal attacks.