Everything We Do Involves the Internet
We all depend on the internet daily both personally and professionally. It is difficult to imagine life without this necessary tool. We depend on it for communication, research, and data management tasks. Browsing the internet from a desktop, laptop, phone, tablet and other devices is second nature. Could you imagine your life without it?
The Internet has become our go-to for everything and anything these days, from connecting with loved ones to finding the latest cat videos. Our digital lives are a whirlwind of checking emails, devouring the latest news, staying connected with friends, and even catching up on sports scores and stats…all before we’ve even had our morning coffee! The Internet has become an essential and delightful part of our daily lives, seamlessly connecting us to the world and making everything more convenient and exciting.
The Internet is constantly changing, and there are risks involved in using it. Every day, the digital landscape expands with a flurry of new pages, bursting with fresh applications, boundless capabilities, and an abundance of information sources. When web browsing, there’s a real threat of being exposed to malware, phishing attempts, data breaches, and identity theft if you’re not careful and don’t know the signs of foul play from the sites you are visiting. Picture going through your daily tasks, and a simple click on an apparently harmless email interrupts your workday, resulting in decreased productivity and potential compromise of information.
Although many websites and features are safe, it is important to be aware of scammers who may try to take advantage of unsuspecting internet users. It is important to be cautious and watch out for specific elements and behaviors online.
Here are five key things to know to keep you safe online. By mastering this skill, you will be able to identify and address different online threats, ensuring the security and continuity of your personal and professional activities.
Be Careful of Prompts
Deceptive websites can produce pop-ups mimicking messages from your browser or computer. If you encounter an unsolicited prompt urging you to install or update software, exercise caution. Refrain from clicking on anything within an unexpected pop-up window and only install software from reputable and trustworthy sources.
If You’re Promised Freebies
Be wary of offers for free content, software, and products online, as they often come with hidden drawbacks. Items like free movies, music, and videos may contain pirated, illegal content, along with concealed viruses and malicious software. Additionally, free product downloads may be exchanged for personal information, providing criminals with access to your home and business accounts. While the allure of “free” is strong, scammers exploit this temptation. Be cautious and avoid paying the price for seemingly complimentary offers.
Are the URLs Manipulated or Abbreviated?
URLs, or links, serve as the web addresses for websites. It’s crucial to scrutinize them closely before clicking, as scammers adeptly manipulate URLs to deceive users. A common tactic involves using well-known brands to instill a false sense of security. Even if a familiar name is present in a URL, it’s essential to check for additional elements such as hyphens, symbols, and numbers, which can serve as warning signs. Exercise caution with shortened URLs from services like Bitly and Tiny URL, frequently employed in social media, as they can conceal the true identity of a link. If there are any reservations about a link, it’s advisable to use a search engine to identify a legitimate URL for the desired site before proceeding.
Fake, Phony and False Search Results
When utilizing a search engine, it’s crucial to examine your results thoroughly before clicking. Cybercriminals aim to manipulate top search results to deceive users into visiting their sites. Scrutinize URLs to verify their legitimacy, and exercise extra caution when searching for popular or trending topics. Scammers promptly exploit celebrity news, recent deaths, and major disasters by fabricating fake web pages related to these subjects.
Don’t Fall for “Auto Complete” and “Remember Me”
Certainly, it can simplify life to enable your browser to automatically fill in web forms or let frequently visited websites save your passwords. However, the drawback is that it also facilitates scammers. Malicious websites can exploit auto-complete features and employ hidden fields to pilfer data from forms. Moreover, if a criminal gains access to your computer, sites with stored passwords become vulnerable targets.
If You Need Help Preventing Persistent Threats
Remember, with persistent old threats and the constant emergence of new ones, practicing secure browsing is now more crucial than ever. It’s imperative to recognize that you are in control. Don’t fall for the schemes above.