A Noob’s Guide to Keeping Yourself Safe on the Internet


The internet is full of opportunities and a necessity in the twenty-first century. However, it is also a dangerous place to visit if you don’t know what you are doing. The computer devices we use have more control over our lives than we realize. People on the internet can actually track our location and learn things about us that most of us can’t imagine.

It’s not exactly difficult for pro hackers. It’s only a question of who they choose as their target. This is the reason why kids and women are most vulnerable on the internet. This article is a guide to keep everyone safe from people who don’t differentiate between right and wrong. There is usually nothing law can do once you have become a victim of a cybercrime. That’s why the only logical thing to do is to keep yourself safe. Here is what you need to do to ensure your online safety.

Don’t Share Any Personal Information

You should act like you are a professional when using the internet. It means, you should stay in limit and don’t overshare. Even when you create an account on different websites, you should avoid sharing information that is personal. Likewise, you should particularly be aware of the people who are in chat.

No matter how trustworthy a person sounds, you should avoid discussing any personal details that could give the other personal information about your whereabouts. There are actually people who can learn about your personality and manipulate you with it. Games and challenges like Blue Whale are a big example of how people on the internet can manipulate you.

Use a Trusted VPN

A virtual private network first connects to its own servers before connecting to the site you wanted to visit. Good VPNs also first encrypt your information before transmitting it out of your computer. This ensures that no one, not even your own Internet Service Provider, can track you. This also gives you access to many websites that were blocked in your country. You get to access a free and limitless internet with real security.

That said, there are not many VPNs that can be called reliable. Some VPNs are blocked by the government, and many that are registered don’t provide complete security. There are different VPNs for different operating systems. Windows operating systems are especially vulnerable. You should first study about the best VPN for Windows before you put your trust in one.

Set Privacy Settings of Your Device

Our mobile phones and computers are set by default to share a lot of information. You don’t just need to change their settings but also of the social media sites you use. They have made it a little complex to change these settings and default settings tell a little too much about you. This information is automatically shared with other websites that you visit.

Your web browser also uses this information. They say that it is to enhance the user experience, where, in fact, they use it for marketing purposes. The same information in the wrong hands can be misused.

Learn How to Browser Safely

While internet can’t be entirely filtered, you can keep yourself safe if you know how to browse it safely. First of all, make sure you are using the most up to date version of your web browser. They also block many websites that they believe could be harmful. You should know which sites are safe and provide real information. If a website URL has “HTTP” instead of “HTTPS” at the beginning, you should leave it.

Install a Strong Antivirus

Antiviruses have an important role to play now that most of the internet is filled with viruses. However, it is also a challenge to find one good program for this job. You can trust big antiviruses like Nord, Norton, and BitDefender. However, they are also only when you buy their premium.

Free antivirus programs don’t have much security to offer. They will identify if you come across a threat, but they usually don’t do anything to stop it. Same if the case with Windows Defender; it tells you about the virus after it has done its job. It won’t be a bad investment if you buy a good antivirus.

Use a Strong Password

While this may sound unnecessary in the twenty-first century, most people have to guess at least some part of the password when they try to hack something. If not that, a strong password is not easily broken by brute force programs. Use a password with at least eight characters and use small and capital alphabets with numbers and special characters.

Careful on Social Media

Social media websites have played a great role in violating our privacy. You might be just uploading a picture, but the site also shares your location with it. Of course, you can change these settings, but many people don’t bother. It can’t be safe for children to share their pictures, videos, activities, and location with strangers on the internet. It makes it easy for them to track them.

Don’t meet Strangers from the Internet

It goes without saying, never trust anyone on the internet. You must have heard stories of how people met on the internet, fell in love, and got married. It’s best to consider them only fairytales. While not everyone is dangerous on the internet, you should always keep your distance and avoid meeting strangers.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.