How to protect yourself on the internet by following these simple steps

A book called ‘’Future Crimes’’ written by Mark Goodman offers insight into what goes on around us as regards internet security and the measures we can take to keep ourselves safe whenever we are online.

Its author, Mark Goodman, is a former officer of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). He now works as a Security Advisor and Consultant to several organisations such as the LAPD and the U.S. Government.

Future Crimes uses an acronym called ‘UPDATE’ to describe the actions that individuals and the society, in general, should perform to reduce their vulnerability to the technologies that they have created. These actions if taken can help you avoid majority of the most common digital threats on the internet.

U – Update Frequently

Modern software such as operating systems, programs and apps are filled with security vulnerabilities known as bugs, which hackers use to break into your digital devices. You can reduce your susceptibility to these bugs by setting your software to update automatically whenever new versions are released.

P – Password

 

 

Create a long, strong password for your accounts by using upper and lowercase letters as well as numbers and symbols. Also, make sure you don’t use the same password across multiple accounts. You can download password managers to generate and store strong passwords for you, but be careful as there are some fraudulent ones out there. Also, use two-factor authentication whenever possible so that even if your password is stolen, without physical access to your phone the thief cannot gain access to your account.

D – Download

With downloading, be very cautious of third-party websites that offer ‘free’ software. Only use trusted and official parties such as Apple App’s store to download programs.

A – Administrative Privilege

Don’t use an administrator account to log-in to your computer. Instead, log in as a ‘user’ to perform the majority of your work and online browsing. This is so that if your computer gets infected by a malicious software, it wouldn’t do much damage as it won’t have the privilege to make changes to your computer.

T – Turn Off

Computers are electronic devices, like a TV or microwave and should, in essence, be treated as such.

Shut down your computer when not in use to reduce your chances of being attacked by one-third. Cyber criminals require a way to break into your computer, therefore, turning off connections such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth will prevent your device from getting attacked.

E – Encrypt

Use encryption programs on your computer such as Bitlocker to encrypt your data. If you can, make use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) software when on public Wi-Fi networks such as those at airports and hotels to protect your privacy. Also, have a password lock on your smartphone to not only limit access to your device but also to encrypt your data with an added layer of security.

Mark Goodman offered an additional tip on how to stay protected on the internet by covering the camera on your computer with tape when you’re not using it. We’ve seen people like Mike Zuckerberg do this and they aren’t just being paranoid. Hackers can gain access to your camera and disable the indicator light from lighting up without you knowing. Scary.

These are just a few ways to protect yourself on the internet. You can find out more from the book.

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Fortune Chuku

Fortune Chuku is an IT Consultant and Researcher. He is passionate about education and entrepreneurship.