The internet has provided us with an abundant access to unprecedented amount of information, helping us become our better self while providing us with enriching information. In less than a generation, the adaptation of this technology has helped improve the world, connecting people across the globe with just a few clicks- but it’s also created several security risks for personal information.

With web browsing habits being tracked via cookies and search engines continuously changing their privacy policies, your personal privacy on the Web might be less secure than you think. From protecting your system from viruses that slows it down, to keeping your most sensitive data secured from cyber theft, protecting one’s self on the web has become an increasingly huge task.

With these in mind, we have come up with some tips to help protect you while on the web.

Use your Computer: Using your computer keeps you in control, especially the security options. But with public computers or those of family and friends, you are often in the dark on their virus and spyware status. If you must use a friend’s laptop, then avoid using password protected websites like email, social platforms, etc. If you do, make sure to delete temporary internet files and clear the browser history upon logout.

Only Input Personal Information through Encrypted Websites: Encrypted or secured websites usually start their address with “https” instead of “http”. You can also identify a secured website by looking out for a key icon or a closed padlock in the status bar, which typically appears in the lower right-hand corner of the browser window. You should also ensure all pages on the website are secured or encrypted; in a case where a part of your session is un-encrypted, your entire account is likely vulnerable.

Use strong Passwords: This can never be overemphasized. This is one of the best ways to keep your data secured online as hard to guess passwords help to keep intruders from guessing your password. You can easily create easy to remember but difficult to guess password by using a combination of numbers, making up an acronym of a phrase, combining letters (both upper- and lower-case), punctuation, and special characters. Never make use of just your name or birthday.

Use different Passwords for Each Account: The idea of having a single password for all of your password protected websites is a very wrong one. This is because, if someone cracks one- or there’s a large-scale password breach of a widely used website- then you’ve given the hacker easy access to all other website you use same information for. Also, you should never have these passwords stored on your computer. If you must have it written somewhere, then use the traditional paper and biro method and store in a safe and secure place.

Log Out Completely: Simply closing your web browser or opening a new link does not mean you have logged out of your account. Always remember to click the “log out” option to terminate your session. We recommend that you also ignore the browser’s offer of “remember” your username and password. Asides improving your privacy, it ignoring this function helps you better remember your username and password as you have to input it yourself whenever you need them.

Protecting yourself on the web takes a great deal of care and attention. This may sound time consuming but it is worth every single second spent. There are more methods to keep you protected online, however the tips listed above should keep you on the right track to proper web security.