5 Ways to Stay Safe on the Internet

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Whether at home or work, there are plenty of ways to get the most out of your internet service – and for each of them, there are dozens of risks to be aware of. The worldwide web is a vast, infinite place of possibilities, meaning there are countless problems and threats that can affect your network connection if you’re not careful. Today, let’s explore these threats in more detail and explore some of the critical ways you can stay safe on the internet.

Googling? Stick to the First Couple Pages of Search Results

Many folks don’t realize this but businesses, online shops, bloggers, entertainment platforms and otherwise go through many extra steps to get your attention. The practice of search engine optimization, otherwise known as SEO, involves working in keywords and other tweaks that match relevant search terms; this means that their web content will be a more accurate match for your browsing habits. So, next time you’re looking for local plumbers or the best-built table lamps, know that it’s because of SEO that you’re seeing results that actually make sense to you.

SEO is also Google’s way of filtering out phonies and harmful sites, penalizing them and pushing their links past the first couple pages of search results. The worse or more irrelevant the website is, the further down the list they’ll go. Copy-paste content, bad internal links and other problems cause this. Therefore, sticking to the first or second page of search results will both protect you and still provide relevant links, aiding you in your web-browsing adventures.

Stick to Trusted Streaming Platforms

While it may be tempting to “cheat” and get those American Netflix shows, this is both an illegal and dangerous thing to do. You put your network connection’s security and ISP contract at risk by doing so – think of it as voiding a warranty. It can be even riskier to turn to sites that torrent games, video and music content, as those files often include malicious code and viruses that can wreak havoc. This can affect not only your main computer, but all devices connected to the network, depending on the threat in question. Be proactive and stick to trusted, legal sources – it’s not about letting these companies make money but also keeping you safe!

Online Etiquette

Ever hear of doxing or swatting? Any adult with experience using the internet will tell you that it can be a toxic, unsettling place depending where you go. However, being polite and avoiding heated online arguments is also a smart approach to take. It’s easier than ever for your personal information to be stolen through detecting your IP address and other data, which can be used against you by skilled hackers with malicious intentions. No matter how many security features and proactive steps you implement to protect your network, there are places on the web that can still bypass them if you’re not careful. Avoiding these crowds and staying out of their line of sight is critical – especially when online gaming, using social media or engaging in chat forums. This is especially important for children using internet-connected devices such as video game consoles or tablets, as they are the most vulnerable next to seniors.

Be Careful About What You Share

It goes without saying that the less information you make available online, the less there is for others to know about you. Therefore, minimizing your online presence or using personas is highly recommended when possible. At the same time, try to avoid sharing images or videos that could reveal sensitive information.

Be Proactive About Passwords!

If you use the name of your dog followed by 1-2-3 for every password, you’re asking for trouble. For every single online account, especially with banking, email and social media profiles, ensure that you have a very strong and unique password in place. Do the same for usernames if the site or app in question utilizes them. If you’re the forgetful type, don’t fret – writing them down on a list is a good idea, but only if you store it in something like a lockable safe for your eyes only! If you don’t, then you need to memorize your login credentials as leaving this information around is just as dangerous. 

Signing up for internet service from an ISP that prioritizes security features is another good idea, but don’t mistake it for being the only step you need to take! Combined with proactive and mindful use, avoiding bad sites and minimizing the amount of personal information shared, you’ll be able to better protect your data and household. KWIC Internet is happy to help you enjoy a safe, smooth and hassle-free browsing experience – contact us today to learn more about our available plans for home and business users!