Every online activity you engage in exposes you to some level of security risk. This is a fact that everyone needs to be prepared for. If you do not know how to protect yourself, you may become the victim of hacking and have some of your sensitive personal information compromised. Being complacent with your internet transactions will further your exposure as a viable target for these hackers. Although most people assume that online transactions are generally safe, there are lesser known risks you need to protect yourself from.
Online shopping and auctions
Online shopping is so convenient that a majority of people today no longer hesitate to provide their personal information and credit card details to purchase products online. The risk here is how reputable the ecommerce website is. It is possible that you may get scammed by a fake website phishing for your credit card information and use it for fraudulent activity.
In shopping online or participating in online auctions, check the website’s credibility. You will know if a site is reputable by how it is designed as well as the level of encryption placed on payment methods. Watch out for red flags such as the lack of company contact information.
Online media streaming and gaming
Whether you are an enthusiast or enjoy gaming and streaming only to pass the time, there are many risks associated with these online activities. Some examples include inadvertently downloading malware, viruses, and spyware into your computer. To protect yourself from these threats, you can use a VPN connection for enhanced privacy. Aside from making your browsing activity safer, a VPN connection will also allow you to circumvent location restrictions that are a common issue when you are traveling to a different country.
Online banking and financial transactions
Nobody wants to stand in line at a bank when you have a more convenient online option. Online banking allows you to efficiently check your balance, pay bills, monitor your credit card statements, and transfer funds at the push of a button. Fortunately, banks employ the highest standards of encryption for their online portals. Nonetheless, it does not mean you are not exposed to security threats.
A common strategy of hackers is to send phishing emails that mimic your bank’s official communication. You need to stay vigilant and scrutinize every email you receive asking you to change your password or perform any activity on your online banking account. Change your passwords regularly and avoid using public Wi-Fi connections to access your accounts.
Social media sites
Social media is already ingrained in our daily lives. But did you know that you are also vulnerable to a host of cyber-attacks on these platforms? You need to limit the amount of information you share on social media as these may be used by hackers to create fake accounts. As much as possible, keep all your social media accounts private and refrain from accessing them using public connections. You also need to refrain from posting updates that show your exact location as this will also make you vulnerable to muggings or robberies.
Markus lives in San Francisco, California and is the video game and audio expert on Good e-Reader! He has a huge interest in new e-readers and tablets, and gaming.