safe Internet presence

The guide to a safe Internet presence for families – the Antivirus

A guest post by Jodie Hurst.

‘It’s a small world!’ You’ve probably heard and exclaimed this many times. With technological advancements, the world seems to have shrunk even more.

Due to the internet and digital evolution, the world is your oyster. Maybe it’s time to stop with the world idioms, but you get the point. Technological changes are bringing people closer and making things easier.

With significant changes come great opportunities and considerable challenges. An important challenge in this digitally connected world is the maintenance of a safe internet presence. Here are a few tips that should help you and your family stay safe on the internet:

Update your operating systems and software

Updates improve the efficiency of your software and systems. Developers may also roll out security patches to fix any vulnerabilities in their products. Regularly updating your systems and software ensures that your devices benefit from the latest security measures. It might reduce the risk of exposure to online threats. It’s a simple process, but it can have far-reaching effects.

So for a safe internet presence, accept the updates from your trusted software even though it may seem like a teeny bit of nuisance or inconvenience. It can save you from a whole lot of hassles later. It’s especially important in the case of software that contains financial, health, or other sensitive information.

Use anti-virus software

While viruses can affect any internet-connected device, they can harm some devices more than others. To be on the safe side, download and install antivirus software on all your devices. The best antivirus software is the one that can protect multiple devices simultaneously.

Anti-virus software will provide real-time protection from viruses, spyware, ransomware, and adware. The software will work to detect, prevent, and remove these digital threats. It will also safeguard your personal data and sensitive information.

Anti-virus can keep you and your family safe from online fraud and phishing. With anti-virus software protecting your devices, you and your family can enjoy shopping and browsing without worrying about cyberattacks. As mentioned earlier, you will need to update all software, especially your antivirus, so that it can keep protecting you from evolving threats.

Ensure the security of your Internet connection

Ideally, you should avoid using public wifi, because using such a connection makes you more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. You won’t have control over the security of the connection. In cases where it is unavoidable and you have to resort to using a public connection, there are two ways to ensure your safe internet presence.

First, do not carry out any personal transactions and avoid inputting sensitive information. Avoid online banking or e-shopping in such situations. Second, if you do need to carry out personal transactions, then make sure that you do it under the umbrella of the secure Bitdefender VPN. VPN helps protect your online activities and data from hackers and cybercriminals.

Select strong passwords

Many people make the mistake of opting for the simplest passwords, just so that they are easy to remember. Such passwords are also easy to hack. Sequential numbers, repetition of the same number, the word ‘password’, birthdates, names of spouses, or memorable keyboard paths are all commonly used but easy-to-crack passwords.

Additionally, people also tend to use the same password across multiple sites and apps. If hackers get their hands on the login credentials from one site, they will be able to access other sites with the same information. Create long passwords with a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numerals, and even symbols if allowed. Avoid anything obvious and easily predictable.

Adjust your privacy settings and empower your family with information

Hackers and marketers can learn a lot about you from your browsing history and your social media posts. You can control what information is available to third parties, and how it can be used. For a safe internet presence, adjust your settings on your desktop browsers and mobile devices. This can help prevent unauthorised access and misuse of data.  Empower yourself by making informed decisions.

When using apps and websites, many are guilty of ticking the ‘I agree’ box without even reading a single line of the privacy policy document. With such a move, you could inadvertently expose yourself to risks. Take a few minutes to glance through the terms and conditions that you are accepting. As they say, better safe than sorry.

Seemingly harmless social media posts can endanger your family’s security online and even offline. Activate privacy-enhancing settings on your social media platforms, and encourage your kids to do the same. Educate your children on the safe use of social media, and about relevant topics such as digital footprint, cyberbullying, and online reputation.

Do you have a safe Internet presence?

Having a safe internet presence is not just about avoiding spammy links and suspicious downloads. It’s about being cautious and prudent in all your moves.

Monitor your digital footprint carefully. If you have younger children, utilise the kids’ safety features of apps and antivirus programs to block harmful content. With each house having multiple internet-connected devices, it’s more important than ever to focus on internet safety.

About the author

Jodie HurstJodie Hurst is a financial analyst, turned entrepreneur, who advises businesses on using technology to manage teams, upskill staff, and streamline business processes.

Alice Dec 2023 paper background
Alice Elliott

Alice Elliott (aka the award winning Fairy Blog Mother) has been helping bloggers understand about blogging for two decades.

She has also been scrutinising the benefits of commenting on blogs and social media for both individuals and businesses for a decade.

She offers web design with empathetic encouragement and understanding.

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