It might be challenging to find your way around the internet. Bad actors are continuously hiding behind emails, websites, and social network invitations with the intention of taking advantage of uninformed individuals. Even your Wi-Fi router and the currently commonplace QR codes can present risks. Additionally, consider the ongoing malware and virus risks.
Users of computers and mobile devices frequently lack awareness of the risk zones. The internet does not have to be a perpetual journey across the desert, though. Knowing what to avoid and how to protect yourself will help you stay safe when using the internet. There are five things you can do to assist safeguard your online activity.
Handy but Potentially Dangerous: QR Codes
These website links with postage-sized images can be useful. Simply point the camera of your smartphone at it to access a website, tech support location, promotional offer for a purchase, or restaurant menu immediately. However, QR codes can also direct you to a malicious website that contains malware or worse. Because QR codes may be programmed to link to anything, your security and privacy are greatly endangered. Before you scan a QR code, pause. It’s probably a safe if the code is shown on a legitimate site or printed paper. Check it out if you aren’t sure or if not. You can obtain trustworthy QR reader applications that will run a security check on the final location of the QR code.
Stay away from ‘Unsubscribe’ email scams
For hackers, this is a well-known ongoing fraud with a high success rate. Emails with product offers or other business invitations are sent to potential victims. The opt-out action step is attractive, appears to be well-known, and is sensible. Sometimes the irritating recurring emails will ask you if you want to stop receiving them. Some even provide a cancellation link for subscriptions. Make no selections at all. You can verify your active address by responding or clicking on the links. A same rule applies: never enter your email address in the “unsubscribe me” form. There’ll be more senders after. Marking the email as spam is preferable to deleting the undesirable email, especially if it came from an unknown sender. It is then placed in the spam folder. A filter can be set up to automatically delete emails from that sender before they reach your inbox or you can add them to the sender’s block list in your email application.
Block Facebook hacker access
Other bad guys attempt to hijack Facebook accounts. To prevent you from accessing the stolen account, hackers can alter your password, email address, phone number, and even add a security code. Be cautious to avoid these problems before they arise. You must activate the following security settings that Facebook offers.
Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) to make logging in on a different device dependent upon you–To do this, log in to your Facebook account on a desktop computer and navigate to Settings & privacy. Next, select Security and login. Then scroll down and edit the Two-factor authentication option. In order to prevent Facebook hackers, turn on the following two extra features:
- Turn on the Facebook mobile app’s code generator feature
- Set up email alerts for logins
First, open the Facebook mobile app and tap the magnifying glass, enter the term “code generator” and tap the search icon. Tap the result Code Generator to navigate to the next screen, then tap the button “Turn On Code Generator” to get a 6-digit code that changes every 30 seconds. You must enter this code within that short time span to login to your account on another device.
Next, configure notifications for unauthorized logins. Both a computer and a mobile device are capable of performing this.
- Computer: go to Settings & privacy > Settings > Security and login > Get alerts about unrecognized logins (see above screenshot).
- Mobile app: tap Menu > Settings & privacy gear icon > Settings. Then tap Password and security. Next, scroll to Setting Up Extra Security > Get alerts about unrecognized logins > tap to select your preferred notification methods.
If you have trouble logging in, head to facebook.com/login/identify to fix the problem. If you are unable to login there, go to this Facebook help page instead and fill out the request form for Facebook to review your account. You will need to answer a few security questions to prove your identity. This might include providing proof of ID like a photo of a driver’s license.
Secure Your Wi-Fi Router
Home Wi-Fi routers are now squarely in the sights of hackers due to the surge in people working remotely. Due to the fact that residential installations frequently lack the level of security and protection found on business networks, virus attacks on home Wi-Fi networks are increasing.
ZuoRAT, a nasty attack tool, is a remote access trojan made to get into routers in small offices and home offices. Computers running Windows, Linux, and macOS may be impacted. With it, cybercriminals can steal your data and take over any websites you browse while connected to your network. One of ZuroRAT’s worst factors is that once your network is hacked, it can infect other routers to continue spreading the hackers’ access. Use these strategies to strengthen the security of your home or workplace Wi-Fi network:
- Be sure to enable WPA2 or WPA3 encryption on your routers. The old WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) security protocol is frequently configured as the default factory setting, or none is specified at all. For instructions, consult the router manufacturer’s website or the user manual.
- Change your router’s SSID (Service Set Identifier) and password. This is important. The factory default often displays the router’s make or model and uses a standard password, like 0000 or 1234. rename the SSID so that it can’t be used to find you. A name that contains your entire name or part of it should be avoided. A extremely strong password should be used.
- For added protection, change the router’s password regularly. You must also change the passwords on all of your devices that connect to that Wi-Fi network, so this is a major hassle. However, it is definitely worth the inconvenience given that it will prevent hackers from entering.
- Keep the router’s firmware updated. Check the user manual and/or the manufacturer’s website for steps to download the latest updates
Watch out for Fake Tech Support Schemes
Some scammers will call you on the phone and claim to be a tech support division for a reputable software or computer company. The caller claims to be calling as a result of a computer alert about malware or a virus on your device. The scammer offers to fix it if you merely provide your credit card number.
Hang up. Your computer is not infected.
A text message or email that makes the same claims as this tech support scam is a modified version of it. Don’t respond. Simply remove the message and carry on.
In each of these scenarios, the scammers want to frighten you into following their directions. They ask you to do something that may damage your bank account and may allow them to spread real viruses in exchange for them fixing the supposed issue. Use the following recommendations to safeguard yourself from tech support scams:
- Never let a scammer con you into going to a website or clicking on a link.
- Never agree to a remote connection by the so-called tech support agent that initiated contact to you.
- Never give payment information in exchange for technical support you did not initiate. Legitimate tech companies will not call you and ask for payment to fix a problem they claim to have discovered on your device.
Make touch with a repair facility yourself if you think your computer has a virus or other malware issue. Most likely, the place where you bought the computer has a current warranty or support plan.