Most jobs today require the use of a laptop or computer on a daily basis to reach customers, upload to the cloud, and carry out many other important tasks that need an internet connection. Unfortunately, the internet can stir up all manner of potential dangers and risks, from viruses to phishing, scams and more.
It can be tricky to avoid, since hackers and other malicious users’ techniques evolve as they create more complex coding. Luckily, it’s still possible to use your laptop or computer in a safe, risk-reduced manner to help protect your data and information from reaching unauthorized hands. A managed service provider is the perfect investment to increase your security levels, but here are some basic concepts you’ll want to adopt in order to avoid these dangers yourself!
Do Not Click Suspicious Links
One of the easiest techniques to avoid falling prey to phishing, is to refrain from clicking on links unless you know it comes from a legitimate, verified source. Some websites do not offer any kind of authentication information for each website that appears in your results page, so you would want to check the verification of the website itself whether it’s a trusted source.
If your browser is updated, it will often give a security warning if you try to enter a site that is insecure, but especially in emails, be careful about clicking on links. Whenever you click on unverified links, whether it’s accidental or on purpose, you increase your risk of exposure to harmful malware that can damage your systems and potentially steal your data.
It’s a good idea to hover your mouse over any links inside emails so that you can actually see where the link will take you. Avoid shortened links like bit.ly as well as QR codes unless you are able to verify where the link is going through a URL expander.
Be Aware of the Common Phishing Language
Hackers and other unauthorized users often follow the same kind of theme when creating bugs and viruses by expressing urgency to verify information. For example, a phrase along the lines of “verify your account” may seem risk free, but no reputable platform would ask for your login details through an unexpected email.
A message which requests that you “verify your account” will ask you to type in specific personal information such as your birthday and social security number so they can steal your information. Always be alert when reading emails, searching for websites, and using the internet in general for these key words and phrases.
Use Authentic Websites
Whenever you type something into your search engine, it takes barely a couple of seconds for hundreds of thousands of results to appear. Wading through these seemingly endless options to find an authentic website for the right results isn’t as difficult as it sounds if, when you click on a link to a website, you look for the lock symbol in the URL; this marks a secure site that has been verified by your search engine provider, but by clicking on the lock you can also check that the name of the website is the same as those who applied for verification to verify.
In any case, be sure to check verification of the emails that you receive before clicking on the links by examining the email domain, and be cautious of those with any tone of urgency to better avoid falling for phishing schemes.