The world relies on computerized devices and the internet now more than ever. By the end of 2019, there were more than 4.33 billion active internet users, according to DataReportal. That marked a 327 million user increase from the year prior. At 8.2 percent, the growth of active internet use is now eight times faster than the overall worldwide population growth.
The internet is used for professional, personal and educational purposes. The COVID-19 pandemic increased the global reliance on the internet. Without the internet, it would be much more challenging for people to work and maintain connections with their loved ones during the pandemic. As more time is spent online, it is essential that all internet users refresh their memories on safety practices.
Secure your internet connection. The first step toward safety is to use a secure connection. Your local internet connection can be a weak point that allows data to be compromised. Use a password-protected router and Wi-Fi connection to improve security.
Consider using a VPN. VPN stands for ‘virtual private network.’ When you use a VPN, it encrypts all data from the moment it leaves your computer, tablet or other device and enters the internet. It provides an extra layer against hackers, and also can provide secure access to the internet even if you are using public Wi-Fi, according to Kapertsky security products.
Protect your passwords. When creating passwords for accounts, do not share them, and also select unique, complicated passwords. Include a mix of numbers, symbols and letters. Avoid using the same passwords for multiple accounts. Longer passwords are always stronger; consider using a favorite quote or song line.
Enable multi-factor authentication. This security feature makes accounts even safer by requiring an extra step before you can log into an account. One example of multi-factor authentication is the random generation of a code that must be entered in addition to the password before an account can be accessed.
Be careful where you click. There are many lingering risks online, including viruses, spyware bots, Trojan horses, and phishing attacks, according to Microsoft. Always think before opening attachments or clicking on links.