Staying Safe on the Web

Ever since the start of the quarantine, the usage of technology has become a necessity in our day to day lives. Schools, jobs, and entertainment can all be accessed with the help of the internet. Although it’s a great place to have fun and work at, there are precautions you should take in order to secure your safety and browse at your leisure. 


1. Use an anonymous username

When you’re using public platforms, try using a pseudonym to hide your identity. For the 

the purpose of work and school, using your real name may be required, but make sure to use a made up username when possible.


2. Come up with a safe password

Did you know that the most common password internationally is qwerty? Maybe you even recognize this password as one of your own. Setting your password as something simple like this can be very dangerous as your account can easily be hacked. To come up with a password, one of the best tools you can use is a password generator. These typically generate passwords with a mix of random words and symbols that ensure the safety of your account. Additionally, it is important to note that you shouldn’t use the same password for any two accounts. In the off chance one of your accounts gets hacked, a different password will prevent the other ones from getting hacked too.


3. Browse with a VPN

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) works as a way to intercept your connection to the web. This blocks your IP address from websites you go on. The interception caused by the VPN ensures your safety when browsing. Here are some recommended VPNs that will secure your safety: NordVPN, CyberGhost, ExpressVPN, SurfShark, TunnelBear. 


4. Being careful with downloads

There are numerous ways for malware to be transferred to your devices and downloading is one of them. A common way hackers gain access to your computer is by having you download unsafe applications. By downloading apps from unknown sources, you risk the chance of installing malware or viruses. It is also important to scan your computer for viruses or malware often to ensure everything is running smoothly. Some softwares that can help with this include: Microsoft Defender, McAfee, MalwareBytes.


5. Deleting sketchy Emails

Scams have been around for many years. Just because you received an email in your inbox from Paypal about a million dollars you won from a contest you never entered, does not mean the contents of the email is safe. Many attackers will use fake names to appear as if they belong to a trusted organization (Windows, Paypal, Google). They will then ask for your credentials over email. It is important to verify the authenticity of the email you are receiving. It is best to seek help from emailing or calling in the actual organizations to seek help if you believe there is a problem with your account.