The Internet has become a massive portal of opportunities for billions of people over the past few decades. We experienced its necessity significantly in 2020 as Covid 19 locked up the entire globe. Statista reported that there were around 4.66 billion internet users worldwide (760 million in India) as of January 2021. With such a vast amount of users comes a swarm of hackers and other cybercriminals ready to pollute your internet surfing. So, do you know the safety rules to avoid that? Readout below to know why is it important to follow internet safety rules.
With more than half of the entire earth’s population relying on the internet for various purposes like working, reading, online gaming, social media surfing, browsing, and many more, the cyber world is no more safe and sound for everybody. There are plenty of dangers surrounding the world wide web, and it’s imperative to understand if you’re an average user, the risks and prevention methods. We’re talking about a network that stores all the critical resources and data, so you must be well aware.
Although you might be tempted to avoid and ignore the safety rules, you should consider how severe the effects are if you don’t follow them. There are more than just a few factors to why you should be following online safety rules. But before we jump into all that, let’s understand, what is internet safety?
What is internet/online safety?
Internet safety simply means the act of remaining safe while online. Also known as e-safety, online safety, and cybersafety, this is a vital activity that any user should practice ranging from smartphone user to a PC or laptop user. Applying safety measures protects not only you but also the personal information you store online and all the other essential data synced within your online accounts.
Just think about it. How many pictures do you upload to your Facebook profile? How often do you use your banking information for online shopping or gaming purchases?Also, remember those digital wallets you made and payment services you subscribed for? They’re all in constant danger of being breached by strangers who could use them against you. To prevent this from happening, following internet safety is a must.
What are the risks of not obeying safety rules?
Besides being an informative platform, the internet world can be a cruel and unforgiving place. As much as there are innocent users online, there are some extremely ill-intended cyber thieves who can make your life miserable as well.
From a kid to an adult, everyone is at risk while surfing the web. Following are some of them listed for you:
- Cyberbullying and Harassment:Cyberbullying can occur to anyone. When someone who is mean on social media sends or shares something negative or false about you, undesirably affecting your mental or physical health, it’s known as cyberbullying. An extreme amount of it can lead to harassment. Children are mainly victimized by this but take no exception; adults are also facing this problem.
- Device Addiction: A survey showed possibly 24% of Internet users in India are addicted to it. Most teenagers are addicted to online gaming, while others are also prone to excessively gambling and watching pornographic content on the internet. Social media sites also glue some users to their devices. To get a view on that, an average user in India spends about 25% of their day looking at their smartphones.
- Grooming: Generally, grooming means manipulating someone up to the point where they surrender their emotional and physical trust. The culprit then uses that trust to sexually or financially exploit the victim. Recently, child grooming is becoming more and more generalized by online predators that target vulnerable kids with the minimum safety applied to their devices and online profiles.
- Exposure to inapt content: The Internet is full of harmful content. There is always that risk of a child or even an adult being exposed to inappropriate, pornographic, violent, terrorist-supporting, or hateful materials that could encourage illegal and unlawful activities.
- Data robbery and publicization: Probably the most common dangers of all, stealing of your information might just be the most harmful as well. When your devices are least secured, cybercriminals are magnetised towards your personal data. After entering your phone or PC, some hackers will blackmail you, and some could even threaten to publicize your private videos or pictures, banking information, etc.
- Virus Infection: The major assistants of cyber thieves are the viruses they create. To breach into a device, they use malware and spyware injection through diseased software or files. By doing this, they can easily access your privatized info and destroy or copy them.
What can you do to maintain internet safety?
Now that you’ve identified the risks of not following safety rules, you may want to tighten your protection of online practices.Below is a list of things you can do to remain safe while surfing on the internet:
- Install powerful security software to assure the shielding of your private data and avoid cybercriminals from entering your devices.
- Avoid purchasing from unsecured sites or unknown sellers online.
- Do not use unknown internet connections like public wifi or networks hosted by strangers. They could be used as a medium to attack your device. Use a sturdy VPN if you have to.
- Never post too much of your personal information on social media sites. Limit what you upload and delete the vital data you have already publicized.
- Keep strong passwords to your social accounts and banking accounts. Use two-factor authorization for more substantial fortification of your online accounts.
- Ignore/report strange or unrecognizable profiles on the internet.
- Download software, videos, audios, and other files only from secured web pages. Try avoiding torrent and pirated sites.
- Enable incognito mode on your browsers while dealing with sensitive information online.
- Avoid clicking on suspicious emails and links as they could be infectious.
- Teach your children about the internet risks and encourage them to only look out for positive things online. Keep your eye on their social profiles because cyberbullies could be lurking around their accounts looking for a victim. Set a family rule to view limited content.
- Minimize the hours you spend on your devices. The more you surf the internet, the more you become addicted to it. Schedule your use if required.
Tips for remaining extra protected while online
The best solution for you to remain safe and secured while online would be to install robust antivirus software into your device.
An antivirus not only protects you from malware infection but also keeps you anonymous while on unsecured sites, blocks possible threats, helps you organize your personal information, and minimizes/prevents many of the risks mentioned above.
Norton AntiVirus is an Award-Winning Antivirus Software that ensures the eradication of all the identified bugs residing in your device and secures your information from being hijacked. It can be used as an Antivirus for Multiple Devices that fortifies you from every other Cyber Threats that could jeopardize your safety.
So, apply caution and try all the steps mentioned above to strengthen your online safety.