Photo Courtesy of DebtWave
Since the invention of the World Wide Web (www) in 1990, the internet has been a useful tool for communication, research, and entertainment, and this technology continues to advance today.
However, because valuable information such as passwords, banking information, and personal identity details including social security numbers and birth dates can be kept online, the internet has also become a prime place for theft with 73% of Americans falling victim to some sort of cyber crime. Anyone can be a victim and have their personal info stolen, according to norsecorp.com.
“The internet, and technology as a whole, has shaped the world into what it is…” explained marketing director Benjamin Boyer in an interview with the Matador Messenger. Boyer is an employee for RSM, and works with consultants who deal with technology safety.
One result of internet growth is its integration in the control other objects, also called the “Internet of Things.” Items like thermostats, blinds, and even light bulbs can be connected with your smartphone, according to stellarbluetechnologies.com. This connection makes household items run more smoothly but may also leave your personal information vulnerable to use by others.
Granted, no way exists to fully protect the internet from hacking, but there are ways for users stay very safe online. We at the Matador Messenger have compiled some of the most useful ways to prevent security breaches when you’re browsing the web :
Make Passwords That Are Hard To Guess – This is something that all people say, but it really does work. “It takes 10 minutes to crack a lowercase, 6-character password. Adding two extra letters and a few uppercase letters and that number jumps up to 3 years…” according to stellarbluetechnologies.com.
Change Passwords Often – You should use different passwords for different websites you log into regularly. If one password is found, and you used the same one for other websites, they can be found, too.
Delete E-mails or Messages From Unfamiliar Sources – In the month of May in 2000, a computer worm in the form of a love letter was sent by email to millions of PC users, titled “I Love You.” This has been the biggest incident of an unfamiliar email used to hack, dubbed the “ILOVEYOU virus.” It affected all of those who opened the letter by downloading up to 35 unwanted programs onto PC’s to send data from one computer to the next. Those who simply deleted it were fine, according to computerhope.com.
Don’t Share Any Confidential Information – Any addresses, emails, passwords, credit card/money info, or age should not be shared online unless the recipient is very, very trustworthy.
Lastly,” Think Before You Act Online” – Don’t click on anything that looks suspicious; for example, those ads that say “You are the 100th visitor, click here to win an iPhone 7,” and then ask you for a lot of personal information. Long story short, “don’t be stupid.”
With these tips, you can better navigate the internet safely and still order that “Crazy Cat Lady Action Figure” complete with 8 miniature cats or the pound of cereal marshmallows. Both available on Amazon for under 15 dollars.