We want to share a series of tips to surfing the Internet safely and avoid being victims of viruses, frauds, hackers, malwares and other threats of the net.
Internet has been and is a constant breakthrough that came to change our lives … but as it has its infinity of advantages, it also has a dark and risky part which can be greatly reduced if we follow the recommendations and advice of experts …
1) Avoid suspicious links: One of the most used means to direct victims to malicious sites are hyperlinks or links. Avoiding clicking on them prevents access to web pages that have threats capable of infecting the user. The links can be present in an email, a chat window or a message in a social network: the key is to analyze if they are offered in a suspicious situation (an invitation to see a photo in a language other than your own, for example), come from an unknown sender or refer to an unreliable website.
2) Do not access websites of dubious reputation: Through Social Engineering techniques, many websites are often promoted with data that can get the user’s attention – such as discounts on the purchase of products (or even free offers), scoops or exclusive materials of current news, multimedia material, etc. It is recommended for safe browsing that the user is aware of these messages and avoid accessing web pages with these features.
3) Update the operating system and applications: The user must keep updated with the latest security patches not only the operating system, but also the software installed in the system in order to avoid the propagation of threats through the vulnerabilities that the system possesses.
4) Download applications from official websites: Many sites simulate offering popular programs that are altered, modified or supplanted by versions that contain some type of malware and download the malicious code when the user installs it in the system. Therefore, it is recommended that when downloading applications, always do so from the official websites.
5) Use security technologies: Antivirus, firewall and antispam solutions represent the most important applications for the protection of the computer against the main threats that spread through the Internet. Using these technologies decreases risk and exposure to threats.
6) Avoid the entry of personal information in questionable forms: When the user is faced with a web form containing fields with sensitive information (for example, username and password), it is advisable to verify the legitimacy of the site. A good strategy is to corroborate the domain and the use of the HTTPS protocol to guarantee the confidentiality of the information. In this way, you can prevent phishing attacks that try to obtain sensitive information through the simulation of a trusted entity.
7) Be careful with the results thrown by web search engines: Through Black Hat SEO techniques, attackers often position their websites among the first places in search engine results, especially in the case of searches of keywords widely used by the public, such as current affairs, extravagant news or popular themes (such as sports and sex). In the face of any of these searches, the user must be attentive to the results and verify which websites are being linked to.
8) Accept only known contacts: Both in instant messaging clients and in social networks, it is advisable to accept and interact only with known contacts. This prevents access to the profiles created by the attackers to communicate with victims and expose them to various threats such as malware, phishing, cyberbullying or others.
9) Avoid the execution of suspicious files: The propagation of malware is usually done through executable files. It is advisable to avoid the execution of files unless the security of the file is known and its origin is reliable (whether it comes from a contact in the instant messaging, an email or a website). When downloading files from P2P networks, it is suggested to analyze them prior to their execution with a security solution.
10) Use strong passwords: Many services on the Internet are protected with an access code, in order to protect the privacy of information. If this password was simple or common (widely used among users) an attacker could guess it and therefore improperly access it as if it were the real user. For this reason it is recommended to use strong passwords, with different types of characters and a length of at least 8 characters.
As always, good practices serve to increase the level of protection and are the best accompaniment for security technologies. While the latter are responsible for preventing the likelihood of some type of incident, the education of the user will make it less exposed to existing threats, something that surely any reader will want in their daily use of the Internet.
We take advantage of the day in question to celebrate with all of you the existence of the Internet, together with all those who from their place try to make the use of technologies an experience for good … and safe.