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Top tips to stay safe while searching online

Surfing the Internet can sometimes result in risks from viruses or hackers. Here are some tips to browse safely.

File photo: Surface Laptop - © Microsoft
File photo: Surface Laptop - © Microsoft

There are, however, some ways to avoid having personal details hacked and copied onto places like the dark web. These tips enable a person to search on the Internet safely, and while using the most popular browsers available.

These advice on safe searching has been outlined to Digital Journal by Nick Baker, who is a broadband communications expert, at the UK-based company Uswitch.com.

It remains important to maximize a user’s awareness of personal safety and security risks to private information. In particular it is important to direct learning to young people, through institutions like schools and colleges. This includes teaching young people the skills that they need and which also properly resonate with their own digital experiences, and the types of content they may share with their peers.

These top tips, provided by Baker, to help the people to stay safe online include:

When making online payments, check the website is safe.

Secure sites start with ‘https’ (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure), which means they have an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate (this extension allows websites to have a secure connection from the server to a browser). This is represented by a padlock symbol in the search bar, which can be checked by consumers before a purchase is made. The public and private keys used for SSL are essentially long strings of characters used for encrypting and decrypting data.

Ensure your virus software is up to date.

If you a person does not have adequate antivirus software, their details could be hacked without you realizing. Examples include:

#1 Bitdefender.

#2 Kaspersky.

#3 Webroot.

#3 Norton.

#5 Trend Micro.

#6 McAfee.

#6 ESET.

#8 Avast.

Do not overshare.

It is important to keep your passwords varied, using a range of characters in upper and lowercase, and include symbols. This makes your password stronger and less likely to be hacked.

Be suspicious of links

Avodi clicking on a link or open an attachment from anyone you do not trust, whether that is in an email, text, or on a website.

Reduce the amount of personal information you share online.

This could include your birthday, a pet’s name, or your address, as these details could be used for fraud. As an example, the more images shared then the easier it is to reflect the context of a person and their relationships with others. In turn, the more that person can be denoted by their location the easier it becomes for hackers greater access to personal information.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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