Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Top 10 Internet Safety Rules & What Not to Do Online

A 19-year-old running for public office in New Hampshire found out about the importance of following Internet safety rules the hard way. As Seacoast Online reports, his opponents found images in his social media posts that were sexually suggestive and referenced past drug use. Just like that, his political career crashed and burned upon takeoff. But, unfortunately, he isn't the only one, as careless Internet habits have left others exposed to scams, identity theft and physical harm at the hands of people they met online. With more users accessing the Internet through mobile devices, these risks are changing and growing quickly.

Even though apps loom larger in most people's daily online interactions than traditional websites do, that does not mean that the basic Internet safety rules have changed. Hackers are still on the lookout for personal information they can use to access your credit card and bank information.

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Unsafe surfing can also lead to other threats—from embarrassing personal comments or images that, once online, are nearly impossible to erase, to getting mixed up with people you'd rather have had nothing to do with.

Here are the Top 10 Internet safety rules to follow to help you avoid getting into trouble online (and offline).

1. Keep Personal Information Professional and Limited

Potential employers or customers don't need to know your personal relationship status or your home address. They do need to know about your expertise and professional background, and how to get in touch with you. You wouldn't hand purely personal information out to strangers individually—don't hand it out to millions of people online.

2. Keep Your Privacy Settings On

Marketers love to know all about you, and so do hackers. Both can learn a lot from your browsing and social media usage. But you can take charge of your information. As noted by Lifehacker, both web browsers and mobile operating systems have settings available to protect your privacy online. Major websites like Facebook also have privacy-enhancing settings available. These settings are sometimes (deliberately) hard to find because companies want your personal information for its marketing value. Make sure you have enabled these privacy safeguards, and keep them enabled.

3. Practice Safe Browsing

You wouldn't choose to walk through a dangerous neighborhood—don't visit dangerous neighborhoods online. Cybercriminals use lurid content as bait. They know people are sometimes tempted by dubious content and may let their guard down when searching for it. The Internet's demimonde is filled with hard-to-see pitfalls, where one careless click could expose personal data or infect your device with malware. By resisting the urge, you don't even give the hackers a chance.

4. Make Sure Your Internet Connection is Secure

When you go online in a public place, for example by using a public Wi-Fi connection, PCMag notes you have no direct control over its security. Corporate cybersecurity experts worry about "endpoints"—the places where a private network connects to the outside world. Your vulnerable endpoint is your local Internet connection. Make sure your device is secure, and when in doubt, wait for a better time (i.e., until you're able to connect to a secure Wi-Fi network) before providing information such as your bank account number.

5. Be Careful What You Download

A top goal of cybercriminals is to trick you into downloading malware—programs or apps that carry malware or try to steal information. This malware can be disguised as an app: anything from a popular game to something that checks traffic or the weather. As PCWorld advises, don't download apps that look suspicious or come from a site you don't trust.

6. Choose Strong Passwords

Passwords are one of the biggest weak spots in the whole Internet security structure, but there's currently no way around them. And the problem with passwords is that people tend to choose easy ones to remember (such as "password" and "123456"), which are also easy for cyber thieves to guess. Select strong passwords that are harder for cybercriminals to demystify. Password manager software can help you to manage multiple passwords so that you don't forget them. A strong password is one that is unique and complex—at least 15 characters long, mixing letters, numbers and special characters.

7. Make Online Purchases From Secure Sites

Any time you make a purchase online, you need to provide credit card or bank account information—just what cybercriminals are most eager to get their hands on. Only supply this information to sites that provide secure, encrypted connections. As Boston University notes, you can identify secure sites by looking for an address that starts with https: (the S stands for secure) rather than simply http: They may also be marked by a padlock icon next to the address bar.

8. Be Careful What You Post

The Internet does not have a delete key, as that young candidate in New Hampshire found out. Any comment or image you post online may stay online forever because removing the original (say, from Twitter) does not remove any copies that other people made. There is no way for you to "take back" a remark you wish you hadn't made, or get rid of that embarrassing selfie you took at a party. Don't put anything online that you wouldn't want your mom or a prospective employer to see.

9. Be Careful Who You Meet Online

People you meet online are not always who they claim to be. Indeed, they may not even be real. As InfoWorld reports, fake social media profiles are a popular way for hackers to cozy up to unwary Web users and pick their cyber pockets. Be as cautious and sensible in your online social life as you are in your in-person social life.

10. Keep Your Antivirus Program Up To Date

Internet security software cannot protect against every threat, but it will detect and remove most malware—though you should make sure it's to date. Be sure to stay current with your operating system's updates and updates to applications you use. They provide a vital layer of security.

Keep these 10 basic Internet safety rules in mind and you'll avoid many of the nasty surprises that lurk online for the careless.

All credit for this article goes to : https://usa.kaspersky.com/resource-center/preemptive-safety/top-10-internet-safety-rules-and-what-not-to-do-online

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Five Google Chrome Security Tips To Ensure Safety And Privacy While You Surf The Internet

Maintaining one's safety and privacy while browsing the web is of paramount importance, especially now when security and privacy risks are at an all-time high. Previously, we discussed how unwanted ads and pop-ups are responsible for ruining your internet browsing experience with the help of browser extensions, and some of these browser extensions could be malicious, too. But it’s not only about ads and extensions, even merely visiting a website can expose you to security and privacy threat. We discuss five tips and tricks to ensure your safety and privacy while browsing the internet.

1. Browse the internet in incognito mode
By default, Google Chrome much like any other web browser out there, remembers your browsing activity. But in case you don’t want that to happen, you can surf the internet in incognito mode.

If you are a desktop or laptop user

Open the Google Chrome web browser on your computer. Click more icon at the top right corner > New incognito mode. Google Chrome browser will open a separate window with the incognito icon inside the tab.

Keyboard shortcut to open an incognito window

Windows, Linux, or Chrome OS: Press Ctrl + Shift + n.
Mac: Press ⌘ + Shift + n.

If you are an Android user

Similar to the desktop experience, Android users need to tap the more icon at the top right corner and choose the option New Incognito Tab. However, if you are unable to take screenshots due to a message “Taking screenshots isn't allowed by the app or your organization,” open the webpage in a normal tab and try again.

If you are an iPhone or iPad user

iOS users can open the Chrome app > More > New Incognito Tab. If you want to check if you are in the incognito mode, tap Switch tabs option and look for the incognito icon. You can switch between incognito and regular tabs. Tap the option Switch tabs at the bottom and swipe left or right to switch between Incognito and regular tabs.

Why Incognito mode

While browsing in incognito mode, Google Chrome doesn’t store the user’s browsing history, cookies, website data and information entered in forms. However, all their downloaded files and bookmarks remain intact. Browsing history and activity is kept hidden only at the user’s end.

2. Choose your privacy settings wisely
You can safeguard your browsing experience using web services. For example, Google Chrome automatically offers completions for search terms and website addressed you type in Chrome’s address bar and most of these web services are turned on by default. You can customise your privacy settings if you want to turn it off.

How to configure your privacy settings

Step 1: Go to Google Chrome > More > Settings.
Step 2:Click the option ‘Advanced’ at the bottom.
Step 3: Privacy and Security > Content settings.

Under “Privacy and security,” there are several privacy settings to choose from. But we are only going to talk about those that are essential when it comes to maintaining your security and privacy while using Google Chrome.

Safe browsing

Turning on safe browsing helps users protect themselves and their device from dangerous websites. When turned on, users get an instant alert whenever a website you are visiting is deemed harmful by Google Chrome.

The browser always checks the website you want to visit against a list of websites stored on your computer that are considered bad. If Chrome finds a match, it sends a partial copy of the address to Google to find out whether it’s a harmful website.

Send a "Do Not Track" request with your browsing traffic

You can prevent websites from collecting and using your browsing data. All you need to do is include a "Do Not Track" request with your browsing traffic. In spite of this, many websites still have this tendency to collect and use your browsing data to “improve security, provide content, services, ads and recommendations on their websites, and generate reporting statistics.”

3. See whether a website is safe to visit
If you want to check whether a website is safe to visit, all you have to do is check for the website’s security info. Google Chrome does the job of alerting users if its connection to a website if not safe or private. The website’s security status can be found towards the left of the web URL. It provides users with a fair idea if their connection is secure or not. We discuss different security symbols and what do they mean:


Secure status is denoted by a lock symbol. It means the information you send or retrieve from the site is private. Even if the status is secure, keep a tab of the authenticity and genuinity of the web address.

Info or Note secure

It means the website is not using a private connection. Chrome also warns users that someone might be able to see or change the information they send or retrieve through the website. Some websites let users visit a more secure version of the website. All users need to do is replace http:// with https:// before the web address in the address bar.

Not secure or Dangerous

Google Chrome warns users against using websites that are not secure. However, users shall proceed with caution when it comes to websites that are not secure. If the website is deemed ‘Dangerous’ by Google Chrome, users shall see a full-page red warning screen. Meaning the website has been flagged as unsafe by ‘Safe Browsing.’

What is a security certificate?

When a website uses HTTPS (connection security) protocol, the server relies upon a certificate to verify the website's identity to Google Chrome or any browser for that matter. Google Chrome browser requires websites to use certificates from a trusted organisation to ensure your safety while browsing websites on the internet.

4. Remove unwanted ads and pop-ups
As we explained in our previous story, there are several ways to deal with unwanted ads and pop-ups while using Google Chrome. You can get rid of Chrome extensions that may be causing these ads. You can also try resetting your browser settings or check for permissions

5. Use the site isolation security feature
What is Site Isolation feature all about, you may ask? Well, It’s a security feature in Chrome browser that offers an added layer of protection against some types of security vulnerabilities. Site isolation feature “makes it harder for untrustworthy websites to access or steal information from your accounts on other websites.”

How to turn on site isolation

Step 1: Open Google Chrome on your desktop or laptop.
Step 2: Enter chrome://flags/#enable-site-per-process in the address bar and hit ‘Enter.’
Step 3: Click ‘Enable’ next to ‘Strict site isolation.’
Step 4: Click the option ‘Reluanch now.’

Credit for this post goes to https://www.republicworld.com/technology-news/apps/five-google-chrome-security-tips-to-ensure-safety-and-privacy-while-you-surf-the-internet