5 Ways to Stay Safe Online in 2022
The internet is an important place for so many of us. No, scratch that. The internet is a basic necessity for most people in the world today. Whether it is a big-time corporation, a small home-run business, an influencer, or just even a family of four, the internet is what binds us together. It is a unique network of multiple computers connecting over the international web and interacting with each other as effortlessly as ever.
The internet has completely revamped the way we see the world. And, of course, how most of it runs. You can sell something over the internet, buy groceries, find services and restaurants close to your home, learn and even work from home now, all thanks to the platform we call the world wide web. There are many positive aspects of the internet that we witness day in and day out. Life has become so much easier, the entire world is present at your fingertips and you can reach the furthest of things at a single touch.
But with great power comes great responsibility and we have all been there to see it. The internet is a glittery bag of jewels but can easily be manipulated to cause you or your loved ones harm. There is no problem with being on the internet, but it is very important to keep yourself safe online. Luckily, some internet services like Xfinity Internet are dedicated to keeping their people safe with state-of-the-art security suites in place. In this article, we discuss some of the ways that you can keep yourself safe on the internet. We hope it would be an enlightening discussion for you!
Your personal info is your business
People often find it of no consequence, sharing things like their personal information over the internet. Whether it is online relationships, friendships, or something as simple as filling out a form, keep your personal information as limited as possible. Remember, if your bank or any legit business contacts you, they will follow proper channels with adequate instructions. Rather than just having you fill out a shady form.
Your birth date, your mother’s maiden name, your home address, the name of your first pet or the time of your first date, your social security number, and more are all sensitive info. Nobody should be asking for them, and if they are, something is amiss. Make sure you are always on your guard and keep the information sharing to a minimum. There is something such as too much information (And that is TMI, for all you Gen Z folk out there)!
A secure internet connection makes all the difference
It may be difficult to understand the concept of a secure internet connection, but let us give it a go. Your online safety is like a car. When you are on a secure connection, your car is completely locked. So any exchange from and to your network is safe and not compromised at all. Most home networks are secure internet connections so all browsing is private.
Conversely, think of driving an unlocked car through an unsafe neighborhood. That’s akin to being online on a public network. How many times have you connected to the public Wi-Fi in Wendy’s parking lot or the Target store near you? Guilty as charged, eh? Well, being online is not a problem but on unsecured connections, you have to be very careful about what you access online and use a handy VPN.
A great perk that you get with an Xfinity internet subscription is that you get millions of safe out-of-home Wi-Fi hotspots across the US. So, with Xfinity Internet, you will never have to worry about an open unsafe network again!
Ditch the downloads on open networks
One of the biggest goals of most cyber-criminals out there is to hack into your computer and access all your personal information. This can be done in multiple ways, like pop-up advertisements, clickbait content, and things along those lines. But, one of the easiest ways to get you is by sending you an email with a spam link. Once you click on it or download it, it installs malware into your system that allows the hacker to gain control of your system.
Of course, the greatest risk of these downloads is on public, open networks. However, these fraudulent practices can also end up as emails in your inbox. Use Anti-virus programs and scan your devices often. And, of course, be very careful of what you download on your personal and work computer. Your next disaster can just be a click away.
The next Ted Bundy could be hiding behind a screen
Okay, not to be dramatic or anything but this is low-key possible. There are thousands of internet-related incidents each year in the US. Things like cyber harassment, bullying, assaults, sexual preying, serial killers and predators. There is an entire crime branch dedicated to solving online crimes such as these, but they are not always successful.
The case in point – be extremely vigilant online. It is possible to find good friends and the love of your life online, but be careful of whatever you do. Share limited information; do not send compromising pictures of yourself or exchange intimate details about yourself with someone you have not even met. And, if you do go to meet them, schedule the meeting in a public place or take someone with you. This way you get to control the flow of things in case something goes awry.
And for the love of God, please, take your parents in the loop. As uncool as it may sound to the millennials and Gen Z, your parents actually can and will protect you. Take them in confidence if you have messed up somehow, rather than trying to cover up the tracks or being blackmailed. We have all seen enough Lifetime movies to know how that ends and it is not pretty.
- Online shopping is fun – until it’s not
A big part of millennial culture today, is just online shopping. The world has made it easy for us, with the internet so then why not do it? And with a high-speed internet connection like Xfinity Internet, everything operates like a dream too. Then what possibly can be wrong with it?
The answer is nothing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with shopping online. But make sure whenever you do shop, you are connected through a secure connection and that you reach the secure version of the website. You can ensure this by using an HTTPS on your address bar rather than a simple HTTP. The extra ‘s’ in there refers to as secure and helps you reach the safe version of the site. Here you can enter all your card details without a worry in the world.
Remember, your credit card info, much like your social security number is sensitive detail and should be treated as such.
Conclusion: Where do we go from here?
The truth of the matter is this – internet is indispensable to us, in more ways than one. We can’t possibly imagine a world without it. It serves us in multiple ways and is always evolving to better things. However, your online safety is always a number one priority. Since we spend so much time online, it is important to be secure and protected. You can follow the tips we have given above to make sure that you are always in the bubble of safety.
You should also consider investing in a good internet service that is both high speeds and has an online security suite. Xfinity Internet manages to check out all the boxes!