Most people use the internet with pure intentions. However, any time technological advancements are made, we have to worry about those who would exploit them. When bad actors go online, they’re often after information they can use to access anything from social media accounts to financial accounts. 

This isn’t to say you should be scared about going online. It’s all about using the internet safely. Here are five tips to consider. 

1. Watch Who You Subscribe To

You have a right to ask a business owner questions before purchasing their services, especially if they’ll be carrying information hackers could use to log into your accounts. Remember, they are working for you. 

One of the first questions you should ask is if they use contact center security. This newly-developed software is designed to keep customer information safe and confidential. 

Along with this query, ask the company owner hard-hitting questions about what they do to protect their clients’ personal data. 

2. Make Your Passwords Obscure

The most obvious advice is not to share your passwords with anyone. It’s also vital to ensure they can’t be connected to you. A character’s name from a popular TV show everyone knows is your favorite is not a good choice for your password. 

In fact, the more random you make your password, the better. Change this incoherent scramble of characters every so often and make a different one for every account. 

One more note: don’t save your passwords on websites. While it saves some time and seems convenient, you could be allowing your data and sensitive information to fall into the wrong hands.

3. Get a VPN 

When you use a general Wi-Fi network while you’re out, you run the risk of someone else seeing your data. That’s why so many are turning to virtual private networks. This way, your data will be your own and not connected to other mediums. 

On a side note, be very discerning about who you share your Wi-Fi information with, as innocuous and normal as that might seem. Think about how a secret becomes common knowledge. One person tells just one person, another person tells just one person, and so on. 

4. Watch What You Post

When you’re out on a fabulous vacation, and the picture of the beach is perfect, it’s understandable to want to share it with the world. 

Unfortunately, innocent fun can be exploited by bad actors. While most people would merely “like” the picture and move on, some would think, “They’re not at home right now, and they won’t be any time soon.” Save the pictures for after you’re home, and make it clear that vacation time is over. 

On that note, keep any personal information out of your posts. You never know what thread could be followed to uncover your sensitive data. 

5. Install Effective Antivirus Software 

The constant updates and scans may be tedious, but to roam through the internet without this software would be like driving a car without a windshield. 

Don’t pick just any type. Before you spend your money and trust a antivirus program with your computer’s safety, put it through a rigorous background check. More than anything, listen to the reviews of real people who have used the product themselves. 

Make Your Online Self Invulnerable 

It’s not fair, but it’s true: we have to go through life with a healthy level of suspicion that keeps us from being targeted by those who would mean us harm. The internet is no exception. 

If you follow these guidelines for staying safe online, you and your loved ones will be safeguarded against such intrusions.