The online world has never been risk-free and in 2022 the risks posed by cybercriminals are a threat to all internet users. As scams and phishing methods become more complex there is a greater need for the individual to adopt a range of best practices to protect their personal information.
Cybercriminals can target both individuals and businesses using a wide range of methods: malware can be activated by clicking on malicious links; personal details can be harvested simply by visiting unsecure sites.
Whether you like to surf the internet for fun and recreation, use it as a platform for online trading, or buy a range of products and services, staying safe online should always be a priority. It is a sobering fact that thousands of pieces of malware are created every day.
Stay safer online by following these three top tips.
Be vigilant when trading
Millions of people around the world now regularly trade online and increasingly that trade is in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. With a wide range of cryptocurrencies now available, it is more important than ever to check that the site you trade on is secure.
As a rule, you should only trade on sites that feature the padlock icon in their web address, such as can be seen at OKX. This padlock icon proves that the site is secure and uses SSL encryption to ensure that any financial or personal information is transmitted safely.
It is also good practice to look at reviews from trading platforms. Customer experiences of using these sites can be a valuable source of information on the security of a platform. When trading online or undertaking any type of internet purchasing activity, it is also important to remember not to use unsecured networks.
Surfing in coffee shops and shopping malls can be an attractive proposition but should be avoided whenever any transactions are taking place; otherwise, a cybercriminal could easily pose as a contact from a website you have visited – leaving you open to phishing attacks in the future.
Use strong passwords
Whilst most people realize the value of having strong passwords across all the sites they use, it is still surprising how many people do not adhere to this best practice. Many consumers use the same passwords across numerous platforms and sites or use exceptionally weak passwords that can be cracked with a minimum amount of effort.
Today, search engines can suggest strong passwords and store them securely. This method can make consumers safer online whilst also freeing the need to memorize complex passwords. Put simply, if you use weak or repetitive passwords across sites, you are making it easy for a cybercriminal to harvest your personal details or hack your accounts.
Stay up to date
Another common practice that tends to be overlooked by millions of web visitors is to keep applications and devices up to date with the latest firmware. It is vitally important to check for system and firmware updates on a regular basis. Whilst many updates offer stability improvements or bug fixes, they often contain the latest security updates that keep devices and applications more secure.
Running software or operating systems that do not have the latest patches leaves them far more vulnerable to attack, so make a point of checking for updates across your devices on a regular basis to ensure that you benefit from the latest security features.
In summary, follow the above advice to avoid falling victim to one (or more) of the 300,000 pieces of malware that are created every day.