Safe surfing can be tricky. Both on the water and on the internet! Every site is a potential risk. Malicious hackers who once used adult and gambling sites to distribute malware and infect victims have shifted focus to more mainstream, popular and trusted sites like those of your bank, favorite online store or social media.
Skilled predators are looking for victims at every turn – and there is no shortage of people who are trapped by the endless onslaught of scams. From alleged Amber Alerts and lost children to celebrity hoaxes and fake charities, internet users have to make intelligent choices every day. There are many things that you can do to learn how to surf the internet with a great deal more privacy and security than you might now. Paying attention to a few clues can also help protect our organization from malware infections, unauthorized access or APTs (Advanced Persistent Threats) and save you from identity theft or worse!
We all want to stay safe online in our personal life, our professional life and our mobile life. So as you read through this issue, consider each topic from all three points of view. Why is safe surfing important to your family? Why is it crucial for the safety of our data here at work? And how does safe surfing apply to your mobile devices? You will find a lot of overlap between these three areas of your life! One of the easiest ways hackers break into your computer is accessing your data when you are hooked up to public wifi.
The following tips will help you stay safe!
- Install a VPN (Virtual Private Network) onto your mobile devices, especially when using a WiFi Hotspot. This will ensure that the data you’re sending and receiving over the internet is encrypted and therefore safe from malicious hackers. Sometimes it’s nice to see a free WiFi sign at the local coffee shop or bookstore, but make sure you stay safe!
- Make sure any websites you log into display https in the address bar as an additional layer of security, otherwise skilled thieves can potentially intercept your private information.
- Set up your browser to surf in “Private Mode” when on your phone or laptop. This will help prevent bad guys from being able to view your online activity.
- Avoid using public computers if you have to enter any PII (Personally Identifiable Info) or login details. Many public internet terminals are infected with keyloggers that will copy your credentials.
- Speaking of cafés, while you’re standing in line for that cup of coffee, be mindful of the person behind you. Are they looking over your shoulder as you’re using your phone? Always be aware – in airports and grocery lines, too! – and when in doubt, err on the side of cautious paranoia.
Better to be safe than hacked!