10 Ways to Stay Safe Online for Beginners

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The internet is undoubtedly the best technology for this civilized society. The rate at which the world has become dependent on it makes you wonder where we would be without the online realm.

It’s a place for socialization, business, information, research, science, medicine, engineering, shopping, and every other field. We can safely say the internet brings the world together.

However, with so many amazing things to offer, the online world can be quite dangerous too

It’s a space that has given birth to cybercrime, an issue that has become a headache for many individuals and businesses. It’s quite easy for bad actors to attack unsuspecting internet users and harm them in major ways.

Luckily, you can also take certain measures to avoid the snares from hackers, spies, and other unwanted actors. As a beginner, these measures will help you stay safe when browsing, socializing, shopping, or performing any online activity.

This guide has chosen the ten most effective ways to live online without leaving a footprint. You can use a VPN, surf from safe networks, check for trusted app sources, and much more. Keep reading to discover more.

1. Understand online scams

The best way to stay safe online is to understand how the online world works. You already know how to search for information, download apps, use social media, and all those features.

10 Ways to Stay Safe Online for Beginners

But that is not all you need to understand. That an online realm is a tricky place should be of uttermost importance.

With that in mind, you need to be aware of the types of scams hackers use to trap users.

Many beginners have fallen into these traps for luck on knowledge. And so, we shall begin our guide with the different types of scams you need to know. Expect this part of the guide to be a bit longer than the others because of the weight it carries.

Scam/junk emails

Emails are still a very effective communication tool in the world today. And that is why it’s quite easy for scammers to use it for fraudulent activities. Scam emails are emails sent to trick users into sharing their personal information

It could be a message telling you how you have won a lottery and must input certain information to claim. The emails may also have files attached that carry harmful viruses for your device if clicked on.

You can tell such emails from their spelling and grammatical errors, requests for personal information, threats of account closure, and similar red flags.

Consider using the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s recommendations to avoid such traps.

Fake websites

You get so many results when you search for a specific website online. For instance, you might get three different sites when looking for your local bank’s site. Fake ones are unofficial sites that may ask for personal information

Another example is sites that appear like government sites offering services like applying for green cards, renewing a passport or driving license, and so on.

They are not illegal sites, but they charge money or use personal information wrongly when you go through them. An official site has the name of the organization immediately after the www., or https://.

Computer virus

Viruses are harmful programs that spread across computers. They may come as an attachment on a spam email or an application from an untrusted source

Spam can get personal information from your device, slow it down, send spam messages or delete files.

Relationships and health scams

You may have come across fake online social networks that trick you into paying for dating services. They often use fake emotional stories to capture your attention

On the other hand, health scams give misleading adverts on medical-related services and products. They include things like miracle cures or cheap medicine. Always seek advice from trusted people before working with such sites.

Phishing

Phishing is used to describe the action used by hackers to steal user data like login information and credit card number

An attacker may pose as a trusted entity, only to dupe the victim to click on an email or instant message text with a malicious link to install malware.

This can lead to the freezing of the system through ransomware attack. These attacks can have devastating results, which is why it’s important to know them.

The best and most effective way of avoiding the attacks mentioned above is not to click on any links or open files from the internet without consideration. Keep an eye on any suspicious emails or content that may lead to a harmful attack.

2. Connect using a VPN or Seedbox

There is a reason why VPN vs. Seedbox has become a huge topic in the world of the internet, especially when downloading large files.

2. Connect using a VPN or Seedbox

These are tools that help you stay online by masking your IP address so that hackers and spies can never locate you. With the rising demand for secure online operations, a seedbox like GigaRapid can come in handy.

We recommend using a seedbox more because most of them come with pre-installed VPNs, and they won’t slow down your computer.

3. Log in to safe sites

Sites that start with HTTPS://are considered safe. Those that start with HTTP:// are generally unsafe and will most likely carry viruses

This goes to both users and beginners who may want to make money with a blog or sale staff online.

For business, the last thing you want is to create a site that presents a major risk to your customers. The “s” in the hypertext transfer protocol computer language carries a vital meaning.

4. Download apps from trusted sources

It’s true that we cannot operate our phones, tablets, and laptops without applications. However, it’s through these apps that internet users are targeted. 

You can avoid that by downloading apps from verified sources or turning on the security feature on your device that allows the installation of apps only from verified sources

For an online business, you may, for instance, need to research the safest sales funnel builders or performance tracking software that doesn’t put you and your customers at risk.

5. Change your passwords often

If you suspect someone is targeting you through your accounts, change the passwords and login information immediately.

5. Change your passwords often

It’s recommended that you change it at least every 90 to 120 days. You can avoid issues of phishing and identity theft much easier when you keep an eye on this sensitive information.

6. Connect via secure WiFi hotspots

Many of us would love to sit in a café somewhere and enjoy the free WiFi offered. Or perhaps sit in the park and connect free using public WiFi.

Such networks carry too many vulnerabilities that will end with our personal data being stolen. It’s better to avoid them. But if you must, ensure your connection is through a VPN.

7. Be careful who you socialize with

Social media provides an excellent platform for people to connect with the rest of the world. But it’s also a place where cyberbullying, threats, and harassment carry are rampant

Cyberbullying is among the three most common internet crimes that you must know about. The best way to avoid this is by carefully choosing the people you interact with online.

8. Use a good antivirus

Avoid going through with any online activity without proper protection in place. In your budget for a new computer, always include a reliable antivirus like Bitdefender or AVG

These are tools that detect and eliminate the most common threats that may adversely affect your computer. Even though some of them are quite expensive, you can find something more affordable to keep your computer working effectively.

9. Always double-check links

Phishing has become the most notorious cybercrime because it targets mobile device users more. It’s much easier to click on a bad link accidentally when using a smartphone than with a computer.

9. Always double-check links

But, unless it’s accidental, always double-check any link you receive, especially those that promise you rewards

And if you click them by accident, change your passwords immediately, switch off your device or avoid giving personal information – that should keep you from singing deeper into the traps.

10. Safe online transactions

Online banking, credit cards, and e-payment methods have become crucial in the world of online shopping. However, they also carry serious threats if you are not careful.

Never click on links that ask for your login details or require you to follow certain links to access your banking details

Always check with your banking service provider first before responding to any emails or text messages from unofficial channels. And most importantly, be very careful with the sites you use for online shopping and similar transactions.

Conclusion

We all love the internet because it has changed the world in the most significant ways.

Traveling is easier; cooking is easier; learning is easier; traveling, shopping, banking, and many other activities that constitute a good life are more effective. And it’s all thanks to the internet.

If you are thinking of joining this world, you need to understand the threats it brings too. We have shared the ten most common ways to stay safe, but there are more. Just keep your eye out for suspicious activities, and you will be safe.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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