In 2022, everyone and their aunt is online, looking at YouTube and social media pages like Facebook. Many people also buy their shopping online, from using marketplace-like platforms (such as Amazon) to shopping online at their favorite clothing stores and supermarkets.
With this everyday use of the internet, more people have concerns about their identities being stolen or having their internet banking accounts hacked. This is a fair concern, as cybercriminals are becoming smarter and faster, making it tougher to stay safe online.
Luckily, there are some ways that you can protect your financial and personal details when buying that dream dress on eBay!
- Get The Right Provider
There are hundreds of internet providers in the United States today. Some with good reviews, some with less than satisfactory reviews. Why does choosing the right internet provider matter? Because if you choose an internet company that does not have good security around their systems, this may put your information at risk. So, when you go online and search for an ‘internet provider near me’ aim to look for information about the provider, their customer service, and their security systems.
- Unique Passwords
It is all too easy to use the same password time and time again when using online banking or signing up for a shop online. However, this presents a very real risk; if a hacker logs onto your account using your chosen password, if it is the same across all of the other websites you use, they can use it to get access to more of your information. Aim to change your online passwords around once a month, especially on websites that you use a lot, and always aim to make the passwords unique to you. This will keep you safe and will offer you peace of mind when you browse the web. Just be sure to write them all down on paper so you remember them!
- Secure Internet Only
So, you are in a coffee shop and have run out of your 4G. Is it worth buying that pair of shoes on eBay using a public WiFi connection? The answer is no, as you have no idea how secure that connection is and you have no idea who else is using it, or if it has been hacked before.
When buying online, or logging into your online banking, always use the internet that comes with your smartphone, or use your own home’s internet connection. These are more secure and only you have access to them.
- Don’t Download!
You may have seen pop-ups when you are online which are advertising malware and other computer protection options. It is wise to never download these, as they are common tools used by cybercriminals to get access to your computer and the files that are stored within it. Only download things that you have chosen to download and even then, exercise caution.
- Secure Sites Only
Much like the public access issue in the coffee shop from earlier, you should only buy things from secure websites. How can you spot a secure website? Look at the search bar and the address of the website. If it has a padlock icon and the web address begins with HTTPS (rather than just HTTP), then the site is secure.