Why the fuss about online security? People have had their data stored, shared or even stolen for ages even if it was only on paper, so why do we need to make such a case for being extra safe on the internet?

Over the last decades, the internet has completely revolutionized our world by being a valuable resource and an undeniable disruption in the field of communications. However, its convenience and many uses are not without drawbacks. Internet is growing all the time and it contains an unimaginable amount of data. According to Internet Live Stats, a website of the international Real Time Statistics Project, in 2016 there were approximately 6,000 tweets, more than 40,000 Google queries and over 2 million e-mails sent per second. Just imagine how much (personal) data already exists out there. And they’re moving faster than the speed of sound which means that stealing them is now as simple as ABC.

Cybersecurity, cybercrime, internet protection might sound like industry buzzwords for some, but there is nothing more important than acknowledge their existence and the necessity of raising awareness for them. Without any form of online defense, we are practically left open to fraud, theft and even property damage. Constant vigilance and security are key now that we have moved almost our entire lives online. And apart from the appropriate governmental institutions, agencies and security companies that do their utmost to help everyone be safe online, it is also our greatest responsibility to avoid becoming a victim.

Privacy should be legally mandatory

Online privacy is not the same thing as privacy at home. Why? Because you cannot shut the drapes and make any unwanted threat go away. With online privacy you do not necessarily hide your data, you use it responsibly. Privacy on the internet means that you do not share personal information without double-checking if it’s really necessary and if those who gain access to it can really protect it. It also means you are aware of the existing online threats and you are willing to and actively taking measures to protect yourself against them. And this also includes paying attention to what you share on social media. For a lot of us, privacy is just another thing we need to worry about, but if we really understand its necessity it will no longer be a hassle to think about it each time we handle our data online.

Computer protection is the starting point

Privacy and security go hand in hand, so before even reaching the discussion about privacy and confidentiality, we first need to start protecting our base camp, meaning our computer and work space. There are a few simple ways we can do this:

  • Making sure our computer has a reliable antivirus as well as a good anti-malware program to protect it from tracking apps, spyware and other malicious software
  • Not using public Wi-Fi and making sure we always work/login online from reliable places
  • Paying extra attention to the URLs we click and avoiding accepting attachments from people we don’t know
  • Using unique, strong passwords to protect personal devices and online accounts. Activating two-factor authentication for all the websites that have this available is also a great idea

The internet is changing constantly, newer threats appear every day and the reality is that all of us are potential victims in the eyes of a fraudsters. But, the more we know about online safety and pay attention to best practices, the fewer chances criminals have to get to us.

So, should you improve your online security? Definitely. Will you start doing it right away? We strongly advise you to.