When browsing the internet, it’s difficult to know which sites are safe and which ones aren’t. When it comes to entering personal information, particularly credit or debit card details, feelings of paranoia or insecurity can often be exacerbated – and justifiably so.

Some official government figures suggest that last year around 40 percent of businesses were the subject of cyber attacks or other forms of security breaches. Therefore, in the constant struggle against cybercrime, this article highlights some quick and easy ways in which you can make yourself less susceptible to the online fraudsters which lurk in the World Wide Web, and browse with confidence.

Antivirus software

This is perhaps the most basic first defence against cybercrime, and can be installed easily on any new devices. While your run-of-the-mill antivirus software isn’t sophisticated enough to be able to keep all viruses at bay, it is most certainly an effective deterrent in many cases.

In order to discover which antivirus software is best for you, it’s always a good idea to check out some reviews or consult what may be the best antivirus guide.

Secure Wi-Fi connection

Protect your personal Wi-Fi connection with a password. This is a quick and simple way to prevent any unauthorised users from accessing your connection, including neighbours and passers by.

Ensure your password contains a good mixture of numbers, as well as lower and uppercase letters in order to ensure that it cannot be guessed by anyone.

Encrypt your hard drive

Encrypting your hard drive will make it impossible for data to be removed from your system by anyone. In the unfortunate event that your device is ever stolen or ends up in the wrong hands, an unencrypted system would be easily bypassed, and your data and confidential information could be breached.

Encrypting your hard drive is fairly straightforward. However, how exactly this is done will depend on operating system your device has. In most cases, you’ll need to access the settings tab in the control panel and follow the instructions from there.

Beware of scams

Internet related scams are becoming more and more sophisticated and convincing, so it’s vital to keep your wits about you if you come across anything suspicious. Always err on the side of caution, and if in doubt, simply avoid.

Be particularly wary of tech support scams, which are increasingly common these days. These involve cold calls and pop-ups advising you that you have security issues, and offer ‘remote tech support’ as a solution. If you grant them this, you are surrendering control of your device to potential scammers, who then have access to all the data contained within that particular device.

Online payments and overall security

Stay away from illegitimate looking websites, and always search for reviews in if any doubt. Only make purchases through websites with an impeccable reputation for online security. You can use a site like Google Safe Browsing search to make sure a site is reputable and looks clean before trusting it as well.

Use baked in browser tools to block popups, submit Do Not Track requests to sites, and always disable unsafe Flash content, configure your browser to stop malicious downloads, and set your browser to control which sites can access your webcam, microphone, etc.

Tom Parillo

Tom Parillo

I am interested in all things technology, especially automation, robotics and tech that helps change how society will live in the future.