Here are three ways to stay safe on the internet
What are your top tips for staying safe on the internet? originally appeared on Quora: the place to acquire and share knowledge, allowing people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Responnse through Adam Levinhost of the “What the Hack with Adam Levin” podcast, on Quora:
The quick answer is that there is no one way to be completely safe. The online environment is inherently insecure. The Internet was not built with security in mind. When the underlying structure was developed decades ago, the internet was not available to the general public or public sector businesses like banks or social media companies. With around 4.5 billion people online, the internet is impossible to monitor.
Here’s the good news: those billions of users can make you a harder target for hackers. The overwhelming majority of online threats can be mitigated in a few relatively simple steps and best practices, which we have known for years on the cybercrime frontlines, are not implemented by most online users:
Beware of incoming emails containing links or attachments:
Email is the most common entry point for hackers and scammers. Be extremely careful when clicking on links or attachments. Check the sender’s email address and make sure it matches the name displayed in your inbox folder. If you receive a link, use a search engine to navigate to the proposed destination. Always open incoming documents and spreadsheets in a webmail client instead of downloading them to your computer where they can download malware.
Practice good password hygiene:
Each year, the list of most commonly used passwords is topped with easy-to-guess entries like “123456”, “qwerty”, and even “password”. More than half of Internet users admit to reusing the same passwords on several online accounts. Both practices make you easy to hack. Use unique passwords that are long, easy to remember and impossible for others to guess. If that sounds daunting, consider using a password manager. Check the website regularly to see if any current accounts or passwords have been compromised.
Don’t share too much online:
Sharing multiple messages about your day online could make you a target of online crime. If your friends, family, high school, home address, pet names, location, place of work, hobbies, and everything else can be found online, you allow hackers to more easily guess your passwords, answer your security questions or steal your identity. Be careful with what you post and don’t share too much, especially on publicly accessible sites and apps.
Incorporating the above three suggestions into your online life isn’t a magic bullet against online crime, but it will help you avoid some of the most common forms of cybercrime.
Adam Levin is the host of the What the Hack podcast with Adam Levin, founder of Cyberscout and co-founder of Credit.com.
That question originally appeared on Quora – the place to acquire and share knowledge, allowing people to learn from others and better understand the world.