ANIMALS
FUNNY
INSPIRING
LIFESTYLE
NEWS
PARENTING
RELATIONSHIPS
SCIENCE AND NATURE
WHOLESOME
WORK
Contact Us Privacy Policy Cookie Policy
© GOOD Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved.

10 important tips about being safe on the internet and avoiding any online scams

Here are a few important tips for staying safe while using the internet, from being vigilant to using certain software.

10 important tips about being safe on the internet and avoiding any online scams
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay, Reddit

Being safe on the internet

Representative Image Source: Pexels | picjumbo.com
Representative Image Source: Pexels | picjumbo.com

The internet has become an important tool that everybody uses in their daily lives. One could even say that it's become quite irreplaceable in many domains of human existence. From entertainment to work, the internet has truly got it all. But very few people are aware of the dangerous pitfalls of the internet. Individuals are often trapped through many fraudulent schemes due to a lack of awareness about what not to do on the internet. A Reddit user asked people, "Cyber security experts of Reddit, what should we all do/avoid to stay safe on the internet?" and they delivered. Here are 10 of the most interesting tips that they had to share.

1. Think before doing anything suspicious 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio

Read before you click. Think before you click. Beware of common threats. You are your own best antivirus. You are the weakest link in your cybersecurity. u/Reddit. What would you recommend for an actual antivirus though? I need to get one and I’m a little clueless as to what is a good one to purchase. u/CopperMeerkat20. Don't waste your money. Windows Defender is more than enough. Plus you should download the free version of Malwarebytes (and set it to not run in the background) and use it to do a scan every week or so. Also, no better defense against viruses, malware and ransomware than a robust file backup regime. u/Reddit

2. Senior citizens should take extra care 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Kampus Production
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Kampus Production

Older people are extremely susceptible to some of the better email scams like the ones telling you that you need to review something on your Amazon or Paypal accounts. It's best if there's a problem to just go to the website in their browser to see. u/Rolling-Trannies. As a younger person, I gave some solid advice to my parents and grandparents that I've taken up myself. If you get a call or an email saying you have a problem with an account, your computer, etc. Hop on over to the phonebook or Google, whichever you're more comfortable with, and find the appropriate phone number and give them a call. If there is a problem you are probably going to need to call and talk to them anyway and if there isn't you've just saved yourself from a lot of wasted time or worse. u/Zumvault

3. Install an Adblocker

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Vojtech Okenka
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Vojtech Okenka

Use an adblocker. I know it's how a lot of sites earn money, but it's easier to not click the giant fake download button when you can't see it. u/MrSpaceCarrot-R. There is one I use called "ad nauseum" which blocks ads but simulates a click on them too so the site still gets the money. You can blacklist/whitelist that and suchlike of course. It's not an "official" extension (i.e. available through the browser) but the site has instructions for installing it. u/breadcreature. I'd suggest using uBlock Origin on the Chrome web store. It's open source. u/Reddit

4. Rely on common sense 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Buro Millennial
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Buro Millennial

Common sense. That big ugly yellow download button that obviously doesn't look like it fits the theme of the website is not the download button. u/abubudadu. The goal is specifically to catch someone who is stupid enough to fall for it in the first place. If someone is dumb enough to fall for that then they are more than likely dumb enough to fall for other attacks, likely to not have antivirus, etc. u/PopplerJoe. I used a website for a while that had a fake download button that perfectly matched the actual download button, I hated it and found an alternative site pretty quickly. u/Zumvault

5. Keep your passwords safe

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Jakub Zerdzicki
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Jakub Zerdzicki

Use a password manager. (Lastpass, keepass, bitwarden, etc). Think before you click. (Did I hover over the link to preview the URL? Is this a Nigerian prince?). 2-Factor Authentication is your friend. Keep it simple with 1 platform if possible. Utilize browser add-ons and extensions to tailor your experience with ad/script blockers. Added benefit of privacy. Explore VPN options, for privacy's sake. Malware/virus protection (Windows built-in AV is fairly robust these days, thankfully. Malwarebytes Anti-malware, Spybot Search & Destroy, Sophos, to name a few). u/killfire4

6. Avoid reusing passwords

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Mikhail Nilov
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Mikhail Nilov

Don't reuse passwords and change them often. If one site is breached, if your accounts are associated with your email address, then they all are. u/ComradeIX. If you have a Google account, you have to save your password. Google also reminds the user periodically to check the status of their passwords. One thing I like is that sometimes we get too busy, when you log in using a compromised account Google notifies you to take action. u/its_the_other_guy. And don't be too obvious with them. There's a reason dating sites are a popular target for hacking: people spew tons of personal information there about themselves. The names of their pets, where they're from when they graduated. Security questions use the same details. u/Duel_Loser

7. Be wary of Chinese apps 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | MOHI SYED
Representative Image Source: Pexels | MOHI SYED

There are a number of Chinese apps and mobile devices that you should be careful with. A good example is XOS which comes with Infinix phones which has ads in the Operating System. u/throw_away_afribull. Xiaomi / Mi collects personal data in connection with your real name (it's there in the conditions, just read them). WeChat's servers are located in China. All your chats belong to the Chinese. u/duracell__bunny

8. Don't download from shady sites 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | cottonbro studio
Representative Image Source: Pexels | cottonbro studio

Don't download programs from sites you don't trust. Use app stores where possible. Macs and Linux boxes are not immune to malware, do not treat them as such. Use password managers where possible. Use HaveIBeenPwned to work out if your details have been stolen in breaches. Use 2 Factor Authentication where possible. Avoid SMS-Based 2FA. If you download script files (eg: .bat, .ps1, .py), try to read them before running it. If you can't read it, see rule 1. Watch what you click and exercise skepticism. No, there are probably no 36 model-looking singles in your area. u/520throwaway

9. Know who you communicate with online 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Anton
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Anton

Make sure you know who you are talking to online, what the security level is of what you are using to communicate, and keep an eye on your surroundings. Like u/AdministrativeBag837 said, "You are your own best antivirus, you are the weakest link in your cybersecurity." For example, if you are talking to someone that you've known for a long time online, then it's fine. But if it's not really a friendship, or know them, then just kinda steer away. What I would do is set up a Voice Chat so that way you can hear the other person, confirming they are the age that they say. If they hesitate and give a fake seeming excuse, it's clear they ain't who they say they are. Or, if it's a person you know, make sure it's them. If they were acting/talking differently, somebody could've hacked their account. I know it's far-fetched, but it's a real issue, and it's best to rather be safe than sorry, right? I hope this helped you, let me know if you need any further elaboration. Thanks! u/Reddit

10. Get your own modem and wifi router

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Jah Nomad
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Jah Nomad

Start off with your own modem and wifi router. Do not use the ones the cable company gives you. If you're a noob just use Brave or Tor browser. There is too much to explain. But don't click on random s*** and don't download random s***. Use adblocker if on Chrome. They cannot access a modem/router you own. They can access theirs remotely. If you own your own their access to your network stops at the router. You can easily stop your service provider from ever knowing wtf you visit. For example, I could proxy through a remote server and access the internet via that box. Then my ISP only ever sees me go to this one server. VPN essentially. You can have your own VPN for $5 a month. Open VPN on a Digital Ocean droplet. u/bansawbanchee

More Stories on Upworthy