Internet Safety Tips

Updated on February 22, 2018
EricFarmer8x profile image

Eric has always loved to tinker with and test software. Using computer software would become his great passion.

The internet is sometimes a scary place. There are nasty things out there trying to find you and infect your computer. There is no such thing as perfect online security, but we must do our best with what is available. This article goes over things you can do to improve your internet safety.

Security, Not Privacy

I will go over steps you can take to protect yourself online. While some of these methods will increase your privacy, this is not the focus. Also keep in mind that, at some point, you have to decide between convenience and security. There are some security options I do not use because they are too inconvenient.

Passwords Can Be the Weakest Link

One of the biggest weak points of online security is passwords. You have probably used a weak password before. I have in the past. A password should be over eight characters long and use capital letters, numbers, and symbols. Using this method is a good place to start. Using longer and more complex passwords is better. I mix my passwords up with random words, numbers, and characters.

Do not repeat passwords! At least not for sites that are even the slightest bit important. Keep in mind the value of accounts. My PayPal and bank account have much stronger passwords. I am not as concerned with some of my online accounts.

Do You Use Strong Passwords?

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Use a Password Manager

You should use a password database/manager. If you want to be extra secure, use an offline manager like KeePass. I use a cloud-based password manager. Find what works best for you and stick with it. Using a password manager allows you to make more secure passwords. I have over 50 unique passwords, and there is no way I can remember them all. If you do use a password manager, disable password storage with your current web browser. I find what they offer to be redundant.

An Example of a Password Manager

A example of picture of a Bitwarden password vault.
A example of picture of a Bitwarden password vault. | Source

Use Two-Factor Authentication Whenever Possible

Having strong passwords is not enough for me. I use anything I can to add extra security to my accounts. I do not want any gaps in my online security. If a website offers two-factor authentication, use it! While the extra security may seem like a hassle, it is 100% worth it.

Two-factor authentication is having something other than a password to log into an account. Two-factor authentication applications normally send you temporary codes to use. Two-factor authentication makes your accounts much more secure because if the attacker can not access the device that generates the codes, they should not be able to log into your account.

Examples of Two-Factor Authentication

You can use a service like Google Authenticator or Authy. Some services have individual mobile applications you must use. Some services offer authentication by sending texts. I use this type of authentication to protect my PayPal account. Some services send codes by email for new sign-ins.

Useful Web Browser Extensions

I currently use Google Chrome as my main web browser but what I recommend here also works with Firefox.

  • HTTPS Everywhere: This extension tries to open the most secure version of web pages. I have it on at all times, and it's a nice and free thing to have to make your internet browsing more secure.
  • Ad blockers: Use an ad blocker often. Ads can lead to shady websites with malware. They are also annoying and slow down web pages. If you still want to support a website, you can whitelist them.
  • Password Manager: Most online-based password managers have browser extensions.

Clear Your Browsing History When Using Public Computers

I have seen people still logged into Facebook on public computers. What a scary thought. Just imagine what a person could do with your accounts. It is important to make sure you sign out of all your websites before you stop using a public computer. Clearing your browsing history makes sure you do not miss anything. I always clear my browsing history on public computers to be safe. I do this when I start and finish using a public computer. It's even better if you can use an incognito/private browsing mode.

Clearing Browsing History on Safari

How to clear the history of the Safari Browser.
How to clear the history of the Safari Browser. | Source

Clearing Browsing History on the Google Chrome Browser

How to clear the history on the Google Chrome Browser.
How to clear the history on the Google Chrome Browser. | Source

Other Things to Keep in Mind

It is important to protect your home network as well. Change your WiFi SSID name. You see this when you find your connection. Change the password of your network settings page as well. Leaving the default settings unchanged is very bad. People know these default settings.

Be wary of using public WiFi networks. Hackers use public WiFi to find victims. While there won't be a hacker every time you use a public network, try to avoid doing anything too personal. Some people recommend only using public WiFi networks with a VPN. I can't say that is something I do myself, but I have considered it.

Did You Learn Something New?

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What Do You Think?

How secure are you online? Did this article help in any way? Post in the comments. I would love to read your thoughts.

© 2017 Eric Farmer


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    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 4 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

      In reference to your last comment, I guess I’m one of those 10% because I use the Google Authenticator. I like it better than the other type of Two-Factor Authentication that sends a text to your phone. People don’t realize how easy it is to use until they try it. And it sure adds protection. A hacker would have to steal your phone to get in.

    • EricFarmer8x profile image

      Eric Farmer 4 weeks ago from Phoenix Arizona

      Thanks. I just read an article this week where a senior Google developer stated that only about 10% of Google account holders use Two-Factor Authentication. I know in the past it tended to be more annoying but it is not so bad now.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 4 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

      You did an excellent job with this article Eric. Lots of useful information and well-explained. With all the hacking going on, I think Two-Factor Authentication is one of the best solutions. Like you, I also use it wherever I can.

    • EricFarmer8x profile image

      Eric Farmer 2 months ago from Phoenix Arizona

      Thanks for the comment. It seems like using all HTPS would be fine from I am reading but I would do some personal research. I do not have too much experience running a website myself. It is something I am planning on doing in the future.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 2 months ago from Western NC

      Nicely written. :) I do a lot of work online and have systems in place for strong passwords and even installed an SSL certificate on my website. Here's a question:o Though the unsecure version is what comes up (unless people know to type in "https" I am hesitant to make the entire thing "https" because of caching and my CDN not being able to cache for international visitors. I hear it's harder for that to happen. What do you think is best here? Right now, I don't sell anything on my site, but if I were, I might secure the purchasing page and not the rest.

    • EricFarmer8x profile image

      Eric Farmer 2 months ago from Phoenix Arizona

      Thanks. I tried to make it as informative as I can.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 2 months ago

      Thank you. This article has lots of good information.

    • EricFarmer8x profile image

      Eric Farmer 2 months ago from Phoenix Arizona

      Thanks for the nice comment.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Great informative article!

      I can see that you have published some very informative hubs about internet games. I am sure many readers must be searching for this.

      Well done and keep up the good work!

    • EricFarmer8x profile image

      Eric Farmer 4 months ago from Phoenix Arizona

      There are still are plenty of terms I do not know myself! It is always nice to learn new things.

    • profile image

      Mary Diderich 4 months ago

      Learned quite a few things. You have used terms that I am not at all familiar with and that provides me with an opportunity to do some research and learn even more.

      Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    • EricFarmer8x profile image

      Eric Farmer 4 months ago from Phoenix Arizona

      I am glad you learned something.

    • profile image

      Judy OLSON 4 months ago

      Great information!!!!! Lots I never even knew about!!!! Thank you!!!!!!