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Internet Security: 9 Rules to Protect Your Personal Data Online

Protect your data on the internet with our 9 rules for internet security. Learn how to create a strong password, enable 2FA verification, and safely use online banking. Find out why software updates are important and why you should pay attention to the websites you visit. With our guide, you won't be an easy target for hackers.

Internet Security: 9 Rules to Protect Your Personal Data Online

We have prepared nine basic rules for internet security. You will learn how to create strong and unique passwords, enable two-factor authentication, and find out how to safely use online banking. Besides that, we also have some tips for you, like using a VPN or choosing quality antivirus software.

In today's digital age, we spend more and more time online. We use the internet to communicate, work, shop, and also as a source of entertainment. However, along with that, we often unknowingly release a lot of data into the online space, including sensitive information. A small mistake can make you a victim of hackers instantly. Below, we have listed 9 rules to help you protect your personal data online.

  1. Create Strong and Unique Passwords

The first line of defense is strong and unique passwords that you should use for all your accounts, even those that may not seem too important. If you don't know how to create a really strong password, follow these rules:

  • Combine uppercase and lowercase letters.
  • Include numbers and special characters in the password.
  • Create a password with at least 12 characters.
  • Never use personal information like names, birthdays, or addresses.
  • Avoid easily guessable passwords like "12345" or "password".

Change your passwords regularly, ideally every three months, and never use the same password on multiple sites. Password generators or managers can help you create or manage passwords. The most well-known tool is undoubtedly the one from Google, which offers itself when you create a password. You can also use other online services, which should always be verified and reliable.

  1. Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Wherever possible, enable two-factor authentication (2FA), which is known as two-factor authentication. In short, it is a method that requires additional verification of your identity, adding another layer of security to your account.

This could be an SMS code or biometric data, making it harder for hackers to access your account. Besides the password, you will need to enter a one-time code generated by a mobile app or provide biometric data like a fingerprint or FaceID. For applications, you can use, for example:

  • Google Authenticator,
  • Authy,
  • Microsoft Authenticator.

Even if hackers get your password, they won't be able to access your account without access to your mobile phone or other forms of verification. Enable 2FA everywhere it is available, including services from Google, Facebook, or Apple.

  1. Be Careful with Online Banking

Online banking is a special case that should be literally impregnable. Unfortunately, information related to finances and payment cards is tempting for cybercriminals. Therefore, log into online banking only from trusted devices – avoid public computers and networks.

Always ensure that the website address starts with "https://" and includes the exact and correct name of your bank. Your bank should never ask you for login details or other sensitive information via email. If you receive such a message, it's probably phishing. Do not click on the links and contact your bank instead. For greater security, activate the mentioned 2FA verification.

  1. Keep Your Software Updated

Make sure that your operating system, applications, and browsers are always updated to the latest versions. This will ensure that all known security flaws, which hackers could exploit, are patched. The best solution is to enable automatic updates on all your devices and services.

  1. Focus on Safe Browsing

When browsing the internet, make sure that websites use HTTPS, a much more secure protocol than the older HTTP. Avoid downloading unknown software and be wary of phishing attacks that try to steal your personal information. The basic rule is not to enter your personal information on websites or platforms that you do not trust.

  1. Use VPN Services

Public Wi-Fi available in cafes or airports is practical but also very risky. Attackers can track your internet activity and steal your sensitive data, including passwords and payment card information.

A possible solution is a virtual private network (VPN), which encrypts all transmitted data. A reliable VPN can hide your IP address and location. It is a suitable solution for home use as well, especially if you visit risky websites.

  1. Back Up Your Data

Internet security is not only about defense but also about prevention. Regular data backup is undoubtedly one of the important steps. This will protect you from losing valuable data not only during an attack but also in case of device failure. You can use some of the available services, such as:

  • Google Drive,
  • Dropbox,
  • iCloud.

An interesting feature is setting up automatic synchronization of important files. Really sensitive documents and information should not be backed up online but on an external drive that you store securely.

  1. Think Twice About What You Share Online

Sharing photos from vacations or family celebrations is tempting, but even this little thing can expose you to risk. Posts can reveal to thieves that you are not at home and also unintentionally inform them about what you have "ready" for them at home.

A big problem today is identity theft, which you can make easier for thieves by sharing information like your date of birth or exact address. Be careful about uploading copies of identification documents to the cloud.

  1. Install Reliable Antivirus Software

Despite all precautions, a malicious file or program can still get into your device. For such cases, it is good to have quality antivirus software installed on your device. Even though not every IT expert recommends it, it is still the last layer that can prevent the worst-case scenario.

If you follow all internet security rules, you probably won't need antivirus software. However, if you want 100% certainty that malware or another virus won't attack you, it is worth investing in an antivirus program. The basic version will cost you a few hundred crowns per year.

In today's digital age, internet security is crucial. Our personal information is a valuable asset that needs protection. The nine rules we have presented will help you avoid unwanted exposure of sensitive data, making you less of an easy target for cybercriminals. Unfortunately, their practices are becoming more sophisticated, so it is necessary to actively educate yourself in this area.

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