Computer security on the Internet means being aware of the dangers and using the right tools to protect your computer and personal data from cyber intruders.
The Internet is an exciting but dangerous place.
When you are on the Internet, anyone can reach your computer. They can be next door, in another state, or another continent. The Internet is a global network with billions of people and devices connected.
Cyber thieves are on the Internet as well. They know it is much easier to steal money and information online than it is in the physical world. There are millions of opportunities at their fingertips, and they are not wasting any time.
Cyber thieves know many ways to attack and break into your computer.
As you surf the Internet and the World Wide Web, you will come across websites that have been infected with viruses and malware. If you are not careful and click on the wrong link, the malicious link can infect your computer.
Computers are complex and difficult to understand and manage. Computer technology is advancing very quickly, but its security is often overlooked.
Companies selling computers and computer software want to make as much money as possible, and spending time and scarce resources to incorporate good security into their products and services is not their priority.
For example, out of the box, a new computer is completely insecure.
This puts you at a disadvantage from the start. The longer you use a computer that has not been secured to surf the Internet, to more you are at risk of being broken into by a cyber criminal.
Once they are inside your computer, it is game over – they have access to your personal information and data, and can even use your computer to break into other computers on your network.
Just like in the real world, "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably
is" also applies to the virtual world.
To increase your computer security on the Internet, always be aware of the links you are following and clicking on.
If you come across an online advertisement, or a website, that claims you will learn the secret of staying young, you can be sure it is a scam. They just want you to click on that link so that they can infect your computer with a virus or malware. Do not click on suspicious links.
Sometimes you will see an article title that claims something outrages, tempting you to click on the link. The same way a yellow press magazine tempts you to keep turning the pages. Do not follow such links, they are a scam.
The fact that the legitimate media is starting to use such eye-catching
subjects to make you click on the article does not help.
The best way to maintain high computer security on the Internet is to stick to well-known news and media websites.
If you search for clothes, shoes, electronics, or anything else, and come across genuine-sounding websites with long names that have prices too good to be true, it is a scam.
When you make a purchase, they will steal your credit
card and other personal information. The website may then send you the items you purchased, but they will likely not be authentic.
People can copy almost anything today, counterfeiting goods is big business.
There is no such thing as a free lunch, even on the Internet. Stick to websites from established companies and manufacturers that you are already familiar with.
If you go for a great-sounding deal that turns out not to be so great, you not only risk losing your personal information. You will have to
buy the item twice.
The first time it turned out to be a fake or bad quality product. The second time you will get the real thing.
Get the real thing the first time, and keep your computer and personal data and information safe. It is a win-win strategy.
Cyber criminals are smarter than us. They are always ahead, and we are always behind.
When selecting computer security tools, look for the lowest common denominator.
In other words, start with the basics that cover the widest spectrum of
Certain strategies add more value than others.
You can quickly increase your computer security on the Internet with a few valuable tools. After you cover the basics, each additional tool will add even more value, but overall not as much.
The absolute value of such a tool is not as high.
When you surf on the Internet, websites you visit can be infected. You will not always know that a
website is a bad website, and your computer will get a virus or malware that
steals your personal information and data, like passwords.
To protect yourself from such threats, you need a good anti-virus and anti-malware tool.
Usually the communication between your web browser and the website you are browsing on is not secure. This is called "clear text" communication.
It means that should anyone intercept your communication, they could easily read it.
Cyber criminals can intercept the communication between your computer and
the website you are visiting. They can steal your sensitive information, including your username and password that you use to log into the website.
They can also hijack (take over) your Internet connection, and insert themselves between your computer and the website you are on. This is called the man-in-the-middle attack.
They can then read everything that goes on between your computer and the website you are surfing on.
Read more about Secure Web Browsing and how it protects your computer and personal data from cyber criminals.
When you are on the Internet, automated programs that cyber intruders use constantly scan your computer for any vulnerabilities.
They are looking for a way to break in, through a software program running on your computer that is defective because it has a programming mistake.
Such software defects are called bugs. Computer software is full of them.
If cyber thieves find a way to exploit a weakness in a software application running on your computer, they will use it to break in. They can then steal your personal information and data, or implant a virus that will attack other computers.
To protect yourself against suck attacks, you need a strong firewall.
Newer operating systems have a decent firewall already installed and turned on. If you have an older computer, you may need to get an additional firewall program to help you block Internet attacks.
Passwords are the main protection mechanism we have to secure our data and safeguard our Internet web sites and services.
Cyber criminals have many ways to guess or steal your passwords.
They can go on Facebook, learn about you, and use that information to try to guess your passwords. Hopefully your password is not your pet's name.
Learn more about Password Security and how to protect your computer and information from cyber criminals.
Cyber intruders also use software that iterates through many combinations of letters and numbers, very fast, until it finds the one that corresponds to your password. This is called a brute-force attack.
The best way to protect yourself and your data from password attacks is to use a password manager. Read more about how a Password Manager protects all your passwords and keeps your computer and personal information safe.
The Internet is a fun but dangerous place.
Some of the risks to your computer security include:
Be aware of what you click on.
Increase your computer security on the Internet by arming yourself with computer security tools that will protect your computer and keep your web surfing experience enjoyable and fun!