Internet surfing is cool but it can take an ugly turn if you don't take some precaution measures. So it's important to have some technical knowledge before dive deep into this online world.
1. Same Password for all makes you fall
We know that it is difficult to remember different passwords for different sites but having a common password for every account can be dangerous. If someone comes to know about that single password, he/she can misuse it and all your online accounts would be left vulnerable. So it is advised to have at least separate passwords for social media sites and your email account.
You can also use a 'Master Password', that way you have to remember only one password for all your different passwords. Roboform and Password Vault are one of the tools that can be used for this purpose.
2. Unknown Wireless Connections
When using a Public Wi-Fi network make sure it's coming from the original source and not some imposter. Also enable your firewall setting to maximum and have a no file sharing policy. And lastly in order to stay safe & secure always connect to a public Wi-Fi network through a VPN (Virtual Private Network).
3. Using Torrent
Always use official websites like iTunes, Hulu and other legitimate sites to download media. Because even the best of malware free Torrent sites may carry infected ads. Now these ads can infect your system without your active interaction.
4. Searching for celebrities
In the online world celebrity names are attached with malwares and viruses. So avoid digging too deep about a celebrity and their controversies or secret footages because it might land you in a wrong place.
5. Failing to Update
Those nagging update prompts from Java, Adobe Flash or even your OS systems are actually for your own benefit. Updating these things helps you bridge the security gap and prevents your system from malware or virus attacks.
Well when a site runs on an 'http' certificate only then it's time to know that it's not encrypted meaning less secure. For a more secure form of browsing make sure you have an 'https' in your browser address bar. Also encrypting the hard drives and the data you send over emails is recommended. You can use tools like TrueCrypt and there is FileVault for Apple users.
7. Cloud Service
Cloud services are vulnerable and can be compromised at times. So it is advised that you avoid these services but in case you have to use them make sure you encrypt your data first.
8. Social Networking
Information on social networking sites can be easily leaked or get in the wrong hands. Regardless of your own privacy setting, you do not have any control over your friends sharing important information about you.
The data in the email can be encrypted but the 'Meta data' i.e. the 'envelop' cannot be encrypted as it is required by the internet routing system and is available to many security services without a warrant. So we recommend if you were too share some sensitive information over email then make sure you put it in an encrypted file and send.
10. Keep Me Signed In
Being logged in to all the social networking and e-commerce websites all the time is as equal to as giving open invitation to thieves to rob your house. So make sure you log out every time and never allow the browser to save passwords for any sites. Especially when you are using public PC or workplace system make sure you even delete your browser history to be completely safe.
So in the end internet can open a lot of doors but make sure you don't let unwanted pathogens (read; malwares, viruses and hackers) creep inside your online world. Have a safe surfing!