Valuable Tips to Monitor Online Browsing

Kathryn Vlaanderen, News Editor

The next time that you are surfing the Internet, take a step back from the views, information and clicks to evaluate your safety with these valuable tips on how to stay safe online.    

The first important tip to keep in mind while surfing the Internet is to keep your devices updated regularly. This can protect you and provide a level of security for personal information. Whether it is on a computer, iPad or cell phone, the first line of defense comes with updating your technology and the apps that you use daily such as Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. 

The second weapon to keep in your arsenal is to avoid suspicious emails, links and websites. According to the website titled Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, an official website licensed by the United States government, you should “think before you click. It could be an attempt to get sensitive information or install malware.” 

 The Internet is full of outlaws, scammers and con men who see personal data as a malicious way to get rich off innocent Americans on a daily basis. According to the website TechTarget in an article titled, “‘What is Malware’ Definition, Types, Prevention,” “Malware is any program or file that is intentionally harmful to a computer, network or server.”  

  The third thing that will protect your information is to use secure, strong passwords when you are signing up for a new account on the Internet. Maybe you think that this tip is old news when it comes to online safety, but it is still important when it comes to security. According to the website “Secure Data and Security” in an article titled, “The Importance of Strong Secure Passwords,” “One of the main concerns that people often have when it comes to creating complex passwords is particularly when there are several to remember.”   

This is an understandable concern, but it can easily be fixed by writing down your passwords in a diary or journal. This can also be fixed by the usage of a password manager which instantly saves your passwords and notifies you when there is a breach of your data.  

The next step to protect yourself online concerns the usage of public and free Wifi that you might find when walking into a business establishment. Although there might be free and public Wi-Fi, “Free Wi-fi” doesn’t provide a connection to the Internet, but connects to another anonymous computer in the area.  

The final tip that comes to mind is a second part of the “Free Wi-fi” tip that is listed before. This is the usage of a VPN or Virtual Private Network when you are in public settings. There are countless VPN apps like NordVPN and Surf Shark that can provide security when you use your devices in a coffee house or an airport.  

The awareness of cybersecurity threats are beginning to take root in the minds of the American people in 2022. It is important that college students learn to become more aware of what dangers lie behind the computer screen and have the right tools when evil rears its ugly head.  

According to a presidential document titled “A Proclamation on Cybersecurity Awareness Month, 2022” published on Sept. 30,  President of the United States of America, Joe Biden said, “Cybersecurity is not limited to Government or critical infrastructure…As the threat of malicious cyber activities grows we must all do our parts to keep our Nation safe and secure.”