How to not get tangled up in the net?

When traveling to a foreign country, it is wise to search for what to watch out for in that country.
It’s the same with surfing the Internet.

People themselves cause most problems. At the same time, all risks can be influenced by behavior. This article will show you how to behave so you don’t get tangled up in the net.

Think about the risks

The most important things need to be protected the greatest. Imagine you have three lockers—Red, yellow, and green. The red locker is a highly secured safe, the yellow one is locked, and the green one is open. Put mentally all the potentially misused data in the red locker. You will find out by thinking like an attacker. Ask yourself: What services or information are most likely to be exploited against me? Be sure not to forget:

  • your e-mail account
  • social media accounts
  • your internet banking
  • all e-services, where you regularly use your credit card
  • university or work information systems
  • your social security number
  • health information
  • information about your family and friends
  • your passwords and PIN

In the yellow locker goes everything that is not critically important to you, but at the same time, you don’t want to put it in the green locker. A good example can be your phone number, your home address, or services related to your hobbies. Everything else goes in the green, open locker.

Once you have completed this sorting, it’s important to remember that whenever you open the red locker, you must be (almost paranoidly) careful. Especially it is always important to critically consider all the requirements related to the red locker's content and apply the measures we prepare for you in this series step by step. And be careful, none of the information from the red locker belongs in the e-mail! If you don’t use encryption, e-mail can be analogously compared to digital postcards, which anyone can read during delivery.

Don’t underestimate the connection   

Public Wi-Fi networks are always risky. Avoiding them entirely is unnecessary, but don’t use them for anything related to your red locker. Suppose you use Wi-Fi, which doesn’t require a password, then it is similar to the post office, which would make your correspondence available to anyone who asks for it without your consent and knowledge. Any content that is not encrypted is readable to an attacker. So you may have a very strong password, but if you let an attacker read it, it won’t be helpful to you. If it’s a public Wi-Fi protected by a password, the situation is similar in some cases as if there was no password. For example, in the café, an attacker, just like you, can ask the waitress for a password, and then he can eavesdrop on all your data. You don’t have to worry about this if you are communicating with a website whose address starts with “HTTPS”. It stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, which practically means that your communication with the site is encrypted.

Bet on safety

Don’t click mindlessly. The best thing to do is to avoid all the websites of questionable character. These are primarily those that contain illegal content or try to catch your attention with tabloid-sounding headlines. Likewise, avoid those sites that your browser warns you against. The same applies to software. Don’t download anything you don’t really need, and think wisely about using software from unknown authors. Last but not least, get rid of all add-ons and panels in the browser that you don’t know what they are for.

Control your digital footprint

Internet doesn’t forget. The total sum of what remains after our online activities is the digital footprint. These tracks are eternal. That means it’s almost impossible to delete from the Internet what you already uploaded there. That’s why your past can catch up with you, for example, at an interview. At the same time, it is not unusual for an attacker to collect so much information about the victim’s digital trail that he can steal its identity.

It is, therefore, wise to think about what kind of footprint you want to leave behind. Please, try typing your name into the browser. Then do everything you can to reduce your unwanted digital footprint. Pay special attention to social networks. You may have heard that we pay them with our data. It is true. And there is no reason why we should overpay them. The Internet is full of tutorials to help you set the highest level of privacy for your profiles. However, the most important thing is to value your privacy. Neither technological nor law measures will protect you if you aren’t cautious yourself.

It is not possible to describe the security recommendations for the entire Internet in one article. However, if you remember the tips mentioned above and follow them, you will be much safer navigating the complex web of the Internet.

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