There are an estimated 1.8 billion websites online and, according to DataReportal, more than 5 billion people surfing the web. That’s a lot of potential in every sense of the word, especially when it comes to entertainment and information. Indeed, you only have to read through our reviews to find some of the best games online but flanking the positive qualities of the internet is an ominous shadow of negativity.
Not every website is safe and not all surfers have your best intentions at heart. In fact, there are people out there who actively want to cause you distress. A 2017 Clark School study at the University of Maryland found that cyber attacks take place, on average, every 39 seconds. More recently, in 2021, Web Arx Security found that 30,000 websites are hacked daily. The point here is that the internet isn’t always a safe place to play.
So, if you’re going to surf the web, it pays to have some basic skills. The following 3 tips should reduce your risk of wiping out. That doesn’t mean you won’t fall victim to a cybercriminal. However, if you follow these tips, you should be a harder target to hit.
1. Passwords Are For Your Eyes Online
Passwords are there for a reason. They’re the first line of defense against opportunists. A sophisticated hacker may be able to get around passwords. However, you’ll make their lives harder with one and, moreover, stop anyone else who isn’t a highly skilled hacker from accessing your accounts.
LastPass is a useful resource for generating strong passwords containing numbers, letters, and special characters. Don’t let anyone see your passwords. If possible, enable Touch ID/Face ID logins on your mobile device for added protection.
2. Make People Prove they’re Legit
We’ve already said that the internet contains over 1.8 billion websites. Not all of them are legit. Always look for a mark of quality. The online gambling industry is a great example of what’s possible as all legal online casinos have to be licensed by an official regulator.
For example, when someone uses PlayStar, a safe casino online, they can scroll down to the bottom of its homepage and see it’s licensed by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. An online gambling license proves a casino is legal. It’s also a mark of quality and assurance that its software uses SSL encryption and other safety protocols.
3. Wear a Virtual Mask
You might not be able to completely shield your identity from the most sophisticated sleuths, but you can browse the internet almost anonymously using a virtual private network (VPN). Downloading a VPN such as Cyberghost allows you to mask your IP address (a digital marker that shows your general server location) by routing your connection through a third-party network.
Those that want to go a step further can use The Onion Router (Tor). This free open-source software basically passes your connection through a series of randomly selected servers. This makes it almost impossible for someone to track and monitor your online movements. Some argue that it’s not completely anonymous. However, for 99.9% of the population that just want to surf the internet in a safe way and not commit crimes, it’s extremely secure and another tool you can add to your arsenal.