It’s amazing how much trust we put in our computers these days without learning to use them properly, especially when it comes to the security side of things. Many people blindly trust that their computers are going to keep their information safe from attackers, and rarely put any actual thought into how they are using these devices, and what they are doing with their personal information on the Internet. If you want a safe virtual existence, there are some habits that you’ll want to shed as quickly as possible.
No Antivirus Protection
Relying on the default protection offered by your system to stay safe is a big mistake, and this is valid no matter what type of system you are running. The common mindset that “My PC won’t get viruses” needs to die at this point, as it’s very far from the truth and you’ll be surprised at how easily a system can be attacked by malware. And while it’s true that modern operating systems have some built-in protection by default, it’s rarely adequate enough to prevent a more sophisticated attack from getting through. Installing a proper antivirus only takes a few clicks but will give you a huge peace of mind. Plus, they can keep your system protected in various subtle ways that you won’t think of straight away, and there’s a good reason why every major corporation has some sort of antivirus solution deployed on all their systems by default. It simply works.
How many accounts do you have out there that share the same password? You may not see a problem with that, but it’s a ticking time bomb. Here’s how hackers work when they compromise a database of usernames and passwords today. They take each combo and try using it at every popular service you can think of. This includes popular social media sites, email services, bank accounts, etc… if you’re reusing passwords often, it’s only a matter of time before they land on one or more accounts that they can break into with the password they’ve stolen from a less secure site. And from then, they can easily wreak havoc on your life by attempting to apply social engineering tricks to your friends and family, and even to you.
Being Too Open About Your Identity
What’s your real name, full address, date of birth, and the name of your first pet? You’re probably used to typing out the answers to those questions pretty much out of habit by now, but do you ever stop to think why a company that produces funny cat videos would ever need to know your address? No, it’s not “for their own security”. The reason is that your credentials are usually sold in large packages on a black market for personal details without your consent. That’s how you get a lot of those spam messages with seemingly unknown origins, and even seemingly legitimate companies may actually be quite shady in how they handle your data.
Running Without An Ad Blocker
Ads are, surprisingly to some, one of the most popular attack channels for hackers these days. They’re everywhere, they get delivered to millions of users, and they get sent straight to their browsers through third-party servers that are given extra permissions for seemingly no good reason. It’s a recipe for disaster, and many people have fallen victim to these attacks without even doing anything other than opening up a news website. Make sure that you get an ad blocker and keep it running, as this is one of the best things you could do for your digital security today. Plus, you might notice your browsing performance going up drastically, as it turns out, ads can actually be quite the drain on your system resources!