10 Top Internet Safety Tips from TuxlerVPN

5 min

At TuxlerVPN, we believe safety on the internet is everyone’s responsibility. As a privacy service provider, we take extra care of our customers. In addition, to support our VPN offering, we also publish guides and tips related to online security and safety.

In today’s article, we will look at a few simple tips and tricks to employ when using the internet. You can follow these tips while surfing the web, social networking, instant messaging, or sharing files with friends and family. This will protect your privacy, your device, and your online identity to a good extent.

Let’s get started.

10 Internet Safety Tips for Everyone

Here are ten quick tips to follow while navigating the world wide web, suggested by TuxlerVPN’s in-house privacy experts.

Set Up 2FA Wherever Possible

We are in the third decade of the twenty-first century and many of us still depend on online security techniques of the previous century. A large number of netizens still use weak, easy-to-remember passwords to protect their data, apps, and devices.

While one-time passwords (OTPs) are good enough, you should get an additional layer of security for all eligible apps and devices.

Use two-factor authentication or 2FA (or multi-factor authentication) to secure your data and private information across applications. In 2FA or MFA, you use a third-party authenticator tool to gain access to your applications. When you log in to a service, the platform will ask for a code that is only available in the authenticator app on your smart device. 

This can prevent hacking attempts to a great extent as MFA or 2FA acts as an additional barrier for cybercriminals.

We also recommend using biometrics and screen locks to further secure your devices.

Use a VPN on Public Wi-Fi Networks

We recommend getting a VPN for everyday use. But if you’re someone who has avoided using a VPN for whatever reasons till now, here’s a tip for you: use a VPN at least when using public Wi-Fi.

The risk of getting hacked increases exponentially when you are on a public network. With a VPN, you can both encrypt and anonymize your connection, thereby reducing the risk. 

Keep Your Contact and Financial Information Off the Internet

Sure, most apps and websites require you to not only register using your email address and/or phone number but also demand their verification. While this is unavoidable, you can at least control where you share them.

Many netizens blatantly share their email addresses and even social security numbers across job boards, social sites, and blogs without thinking twice. Cybercriminals can easily get hold of these and use them to cause harm through identity theft or financial fraud.

On the internet, never share your contact or financial information unless you know why it is required and by whom.

Keep All Web-Related Software Up-To-Date

Web browsers, VPN software, operating systems, anti-virus and anti-malware applications, social media apps – anything that needs the internet to function should be updated regularly. You’re better off switching on auto-update for these applications across devices to avoid giving cyber criminals any chance to attack a software vulnerability.

It’s a good idea to update non-web-related applications too.

Avoid HTTP Websites

While surfing the web, if you come across a website that’s communicating via HTTP, exit it immediately. It’s not worth spending time on a non-HTTPS website as it can harm your device and data.

Always look for the secure/shield symbol on your browser that signifies HTTPS when browsing the web.

Avoid Downloading Files from Unknown Senders

It could be a random email or a website promising the latest music album of your favorite artist. Either way, it’s in your best interest to cut the temptation to click on their download links and save the files in your system. Even innocent-looking files can be dangerous to your device in the form of a virus or malware.

In today’s web with streaming services and online document readers, there’s hardly a need to download files. Avoid it as much as you can.

As a rule of thumb, before downloading a file, see if you can open it online or use a sandbox.

Create and Use Burner Email Addresses

Surfing the web sometimes involves signing up for something. Whether it’s for a new streaming service, a browser-based game, or a blog, a lot of entities now ask for an email address. In such situations, we recommend using a burner email ID instead of your personal or work one.

While many users have multiple email addresses across providers, their inboxes still contain some private information. Photos from graduation, a video of a prank you pulled last Christmas, a PDF of a property document – it can be anything. Why use such email IDs for one-time signups on websites?

Using burner or disposable email addresses has two benefits:

  1. Prevention of spam from arriving in your inboxes
  2. Less chance of your email addresses being out on the open web

Some websites and apps are smart enough to disallow burner email IDs. In such cases, create throwaway accounts through popular email providers.

Deactivate Unused Accounts

Sometimes there’s no way other than to sign up to use a service. You may need to use it for a couple of minutes but websites are obstinate enough to demand your email IDs and/or phone numbers for verification. 

So, what do you do? Leave the account as is and forget about it.

While that’s the easiest way to go about it, we instead recommend closing that account immediately. Most websites and apps have a provision to permanently delete or deactivate accounts. Why not use this to get rid of such accounts once and for all? If you need to use the service in the future, simply sign up again.

That way, you avoid having your information on random websites. 

Continuously Review Privacy Settings Across Websites and Apps

When you sign up for a new service through a website or app, what is the first thing you do?

Explore the service, check out other features, or simply use the service. Right?

Well, how about going straight to the settings and tweaking everything as per your liking, including the ones that involve your privacy

This will give you not only a good idea about the settings you can control but also an opportunity to customize them according to your comfort level. For example, if you don’t want your email ID to be visible to anyone who visits your profile on a platform, you can do so in the settings. The ability to change these settings gives you the freedom to control who sees your data.

Reviewing your privacy settings across platforms is a good habit to have. Some websites and apps do make it difficult for the average user to navigate these options. That makes this exercise even more critical.

Next time you sign up for a new service, head to the settings and switch off all sorts of tracking and information sharing. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Back up your data

If you’re connected to the internet, you’re always at some risk of an attack. While the above tips and using privacy tools like VPNs add layers of security to your devices and data, you are still vulnerable. There’s no way to be 100% protected online.

To prepare for a worst-case scenario, always back up your data. Set up automatic backups on your smartphone, computer, and any other device that you use. We recommend both cloud-based and offline backups.

Sounds like enough to get you started on protecting your safety online? Try residential TuxlerVPN as an added cushion so that you can browse the web the way you want without any inhibitions. Get TuxlerVPN today.

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