software internet safety tips

Top 5 Internet Safety Tips

As small business owners, our shared need to commit to memory and follow five basic internet safety tips has never been greater.

There’s no running away from the fact that our reliance on digital platforms is higher than ever. As we continue our steady march toward the future, using the internet for business purposes is becoming an everyday part of our routines. However, as our use of the internet continues to escalate, chances are that security risks will also climb to an all-time high. As the risks get higher, it becomes that much more important that you are using the best VPN services you can find.

As just one example, not enough business owners are aware of the importance of safe browsing on the internet. This is why many end up unknowingly giving away valuable data. With increased access to the internet through different devices, the risks are evolving and changing every single day. Even though a lot of people have begun using apps rather than browsing websites, the associated risks are still larger than life.

The good news is that commonsense safety practices haven’t shifted all that much. You can keep your network and your business relatively safe by sticking to the five basic internet safety tips listed below.

1. Always turn on privacy settings.

In today’s world, hackers and marketers love to know more about you and your customers. Simply stated, they want to understand your buying patterns and also learn more about your interests.

Digital eavesdroppers will learn a lot about you by monitoring your social media usage and internet browsing patterns. If you’ve been using a certain browser for a long time, you probably know a little something about privacy settings. Even a major social media platform such as Facebook has privacy settings.

However, it gets more difficult to maintain a current understanding of these privacy settings as companies are constantly looking to dig deeper into personal data. As a business owner, you’ll want to be sure to learn about your privacy settings and keep them turned on. You’ll also want to make sure your employees adopt safe practices whenever they’re using company assets.

2. Install, use, and monitor a VPN.

Using a virtual private network (VPN) at home or your place of business helps keep your location and identity safe. Even when you are using public WiFi, it’s highly recommended that you set your device to make use of a VPN connection.

Oftentimes, your most vulnerable point of third-party access is through the WiFi internet connection in your home. It might sound like a spy movie, but the truth is that you could potentially get attacked via the smartphone or laptop sitting on your coffee table. This is why you’ll want to use a VPN-enabled connection whenever you’re browsing the web, wherever you are.

Business owners have an increased interest in adhering to these internet safety tips. The last thing you want is to carry a compromised device to work. For example, if you want to search for the internet of things development services for a business project, you should always use a VPN. Otherwise, hackers are more likely to discover the importance of your workplace server.

3. Adopt safe browsing practices.

As technology continues to evolve, the techniques favored by internet predators have changed as well. Hackers increasingly make use of eye-catching, engaging content to spark interest and compel the unsuspecting to click on whatever they see on their screen. They know people are intrigued by dubious content. These incidents typically go unnoticed as hackers use “innocent” exposures such as these to probe networks and dig deeper into company resources.

Unfortunately, there’s no shortage of bad actors on the internet. Business owners need to keep this reality in mind every single day. Be discerning about the websites you visit and, especially, the links you click. Go the extra mile to verify the credentials of any business website. There’s a fine balance to be struck between paranoia and mindlessly clicking around on anything and everything that catches your eye.

4. Enforce the use of strong passwords.

Without a doubt, lazy passwords represent the consistently weakest spot across the internet security industry. So many problems could be avoided simply by following this simplest of internet safety tips.

Most of the time, people tend to choose something that they can quickly remember. For example, if you choose “123456”  as a password for your Facebook account, just about anyone would be able to hack your account. This is where password management software can help you remember complex passwords in case you forget.

If you jot down any passwords on a piece of paper — not recommended — at least make sure that the paper is securely stowed away. Choose passwords that are unique, hard to guess, and sufficiently complex with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numerals, and special characters.

5. Pause and consider before downloading anything.

By now, business owners are likely aware that a common tactic cybercriminals use is to trick people into downloads. Typically, this involves the involuntary installation of malware hidden inside a program or an app. Once downloaded and installed, the virus spreads into your network and breaches your security.

Malware and viruses are usually designed to steal information. Victims are then blackmailed and threatened with an embarrassing compromise of their customers.

Anytime you want to download something from the internet, make sure you only use channels that can be trusted. If your antivirus software warns you about a potential risk, heed it. Better safe than sorry. Pending further research, do not download that app, game, or other resource. Moreover, to make sure that you haven’t downloaded a virus, make a habit of running your antivirus software after the download is complete. Delete the file immediately, unopened, should your antivirus program flag it as suspicious.

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