Internet Security: How can you protect yourself from online threats

The internet today is an inseparable part of our day-to-day lives; it’s just as if we can’t go on without the internet today. We depend on it for almost everything; to make a list of the things that we accomplish through the internet would in fact be pointless.

Just as the internet pervades our existence in a never-before manner, threats, in the form of malware strikes etc are on the rise. Malware, of all forms and types, infest the virtual world of the internet and can just come and infect any system, any mobile device or any other device anytime. Thus, internet security is one of the most relevant topics today and deserves elaborate discussion.

So, how to protect yourself from various online threats that could shake and shatter the foundations of your real, physical existence, causing you much damage in the process? The money  in your bank account can simply vanish, your credit card could be used to make big purchases without your knowledge, your social networking profile could be hacked and used with malicious intent and your business which you have so meticulously set up could be ruined in a matter of a few hours. Any of this and much more can happen, courtesy computer malware that has become a real menace now. So, how do you deal with this menace?

Well, it’s in fact simple. You just need to exercise caution, of the extreme kind, while on the net and follow some basic steps pertaining to internet security. Here’s a list of some of these precautionary steps that can be practiced, and maybe if possible, ritualized…

  • Give due prominence to SSL Certificates- SSL Certificates are to be accorded due prominence as regards security of websites. If you own a website, make sure that it is secured with an SSL Certificate, which would ensure protection from malware attacks. Similarly, when you browse websites, always try to ensure that the website that you are on is SSL protected. Look for the https:// before the website address in place of the usual http:// plus the lock icon in the address bar. That makes your browsing safe.
  • Go for antivirus and trusted security products- Always go for trusted, effective antivirus software plus other security products, which can be decided on the basis of your internet requirements and internet usage patterns. Firewalling is also important as regards system and network security. Choosing a good, trusted security suite would always be advisable. Update the antivirus regularly and do regular, scheduled scan of your system.
  • Be wary of phishing mails/sites/links- While on the internet, be wary of phishing e-mails, phishing websites or suspicious links that may come via the social networking sites. Also go for browsers that are relatively secure.
  • Keep computer clean, scan external devices- Always keep your computer ‘clean’. Be careful about what you install on your system and also make sure you scan every external device that you connect to your system. Malware that could come via external devices could not just infect your system, it could also get into the net when you are online and cause damage to you and others as well.
  • Be careful about passwords- Be very cautious about passwords. Always go for long, strong passwords that have a mix of alphabets, numbers, and symbols (non-alphanumeric characters). It is a good practice to keep changing your passwords regularly, to avoid hacking of emails, social networking sites, bank accounts etc. Also use virtual keyboards for entering passwords, wherever available.
  • Do regular back-up- This is helpful in case you get hit by malware despite all cautiousness. It’s always advisable to keep backups so that you can retrieve things and get back on track in case there is any malware strike on your system or network.

author_rnairAuthor bio– Unni R Nair is a writer from Comodo and writes on various topics including internet security, Online Reputation Management etc and can be reached at:

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