Keeping yourself safe on the internet is a big deal these days. With viruses being created daily and identity theft on the rise all over the world, keeping your information safe online has to be a serious priority for all users. Even with the knowledge that dangers exist, it is still likely that you are getting lackadaisical on some aspect of your protection. Here are 10 cyber security mistakes you’re making without even realizing it.
#1. Signing Up For Freebie Sites and Giveaways
Who doesn’t love getting some freebies every now and then? Signing up for sites like these and giveaway contests (no matter how reputable the site might be) can lead to your personal information you had to enter getting stolen from ambitious pirates.
Not Virus Checking Your Email
While email continues to be a great source of direct virus contact for many online users, they still haven’t taken the time to use the preloaded email virus checker available with nearly all of the most common webmail and email providers.
Not Letting Your Anti-Virus Update
While yes, it might be time consuming and irritating, you have to let your anti-virus software update as often as it needs to. With new viruses being created every day, you want this line of defense that you have to be equipped with the understanding of the latest versions of damaging malware to look out for.
Not Avoiding Downloads
Sometimes you have to download things. It is inevitable. But you shouldn’t download an excessive amount of things and you should most certainly not download any sort of file from piracy sites. While it might be refreshing to not have to pay for that latest video game or new release movie, many times you are also downloading a trojan virus right along with your acquisition.
Blindly Trusting Any Website
This is a common mistake because people assume that every site on the internet that they visit regularly is completely devoid of any malicious virus or damaging software. While companies do monitor daily for such potential problems, they aren’t perfect and they rarely monitor 24 hours a day.
Not Avoiding Ads (Suspicious Or Not)
Advertisements are often linked to phishing scams. While for the most part these are virtually harmless, besides a sudden influx of ads based on your recent searches. What you shouldn’t do, is click on any advertisement on any website — ever. If something interests you, make a note of it and search it through a reputable search engine and find it on the official website. This will save you from fake ads that get backdoors into your operating system.
Running Live Virus Monitoring
While you might have a high-end antivirus program, it isn’t going to do you a lot of good if you don’t use all of its features. It’s kind of like having a dream team of athletes that you have sitting on the bench while you let the other team start the game and play for a while. Sure, they can come in when you tell them and try to clean house, but you might have done irreparable damage while you benched your software product.
Okaying A Potential Software Threat
While this should go without saying, your antivirus software will scan any downloads that you bring to your computer for potential threats. If it kicks this file back, for any reason, there is likely a legitimate threat. Regardless of how reputable the site is where you got the file, or what the file contents say is in the download, you installed this antivirus software to protect you…so let it.
Underestimating Your Vulnerability At Start Up
When you start your computer, you might not be aware of how many programs instantly come on and begin running without you even seeing any indication. There are stock apps galore on nearly every purchased desktop or laptop out there. You can, however, get into the settings and adjust which applications run on startup, and even remove many of the stock applications that you will never use.
Storing Passwords and Sensitive Information For Easy Use
This is one of the most common errors that you can make in cyber security terms. It is simple to do and very convenient for you. It is also a lot more convenient for a hacker to find out your personal information and credit card numbers if you have your internet browser remembering them for future use. Do not get into a habit of storing this sensitive data on any connected device you have.