Be it via computers, laptops, tablet devices, mobiles, or even games consoles – browsing online has now never been easier. This has revolutionised everything that we do, from checking the news, banking, shopping or just web surfing. However, browsing online has opened the door for criminals to access your personal details. Although the rewards of surfing the internet clearly outweigh the risks, there are helpful ways to protect yourself when online. So, how do you best protect yourself online? And what do you do if you feel as though one of your devices has become affected?
One of the biggest concerns when online is whether the sites that you’re browsing are safe. Unsafe websites are one of the biggest causes of computer viruses and malware, with browser redirect viruses one of the most common. These viruses cause auto redirect ads, which force your web browser to redirect you to an unwanted web page. Not only are these redirects frustrating, but they are also potentially harmful towards you and your device. These ads can falsely notify you that your device is infected, or that you have won a free prize. To combat this, there is software available that guards against any malware and inappropriate content by ensuring high ad quality for their customers and verifying that sites are clean.
In 2018, an estimated 1.8 billion people purchased goods online, and this figure is rising year-on-year. The attraction of online shopping is that it is easy, but unfortunately, it is also becoming a haven for fraudsters. To protect yourself when shopping online, it is important to research retailers before purchasing any items to help guarantee their legitimacy. Once making sure that the website is secure, it is advised to not use public Wi-Fi – as hackers can use an unsecured Wi-Fi connection to distribute malware. Finally, when purchasing items, try and pay using a credit card, as this will provide you with more protection. Online services such as PayPal are also useful, as they prevent any fraudsters from getting hold of your bank details.
Passwords are created to prevent online identity theft, but with passwords now needed for almost everything that we access online – it is easy to fall into the trap of using one password across a range of websites. It is important to vary your websites, and when two-factor authentication is in place, to use it. Two-factor authentication such as text codes or codes sent to other devices belonging to yourself should provide an extra barrier of protection against any scammers attempting to gain access to your details.
Downloading the correct ant-virus protection, not clicking on any suspicious links, using safer payment methods, and varying up your passwords are just a small number of ways that you can protect yourself when online. False ads notifying you that your device has become affected are unfortunately becoming increasingly common, but by removing these redirect viruses at the source, it should help to prevent you from falling victim to any online criminals.