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Secure Communication on the Internet

The internet is filled with vagabonds and thieves trying to part you from your hard earned money. Cyber criminals use various methods to get your personal information and it can be difficult to protect yourself from all of them. As a result, secure communication on the internet is of paramount importance. Here are a few methods you can use to make it very difficult for cyber criminals to succeed in their attempts.

Learn about social engineering

Many people go to great lengths to beef up the technical security, but fail to realize that humans are more susceptible than machines. Social engineering is a technique used to influence people to gain vital information. Hackers use human traits like greed, trust, need to be liked, and ignorance to their advantage. You can use the most advanced software on your system, but that will not protect your data if you yourself fall into the trap of social engineering.

The best way to fight social engineering is by keeping yourself informed. Most of the premier online security sites provide you information regarding social engineering. Staying vigilant while sharing information can also go a long way in protecting you from social engineering attacks.

Avoid public network for financial transactions

Always avoid using public network for making financial transactions. Use networks which have either been setup by you, or which are secure. Using systems in internet cafes is never safe. Even in hotels, hackers can setup networks with names such as ‘Free Internet’. If you access such networks, you will be giving the hackers easy access to all your browsing information.

Use proxy severs to your benefit

Proxy servers are widely used for bypassing internet censorship. However they are also very handy as a security tool. Anonymous proxy sites or high-anonymity proxy sites allow you to browse the content without revealing your IP address or your browsing information. You can also prevent tracking online by using proxy servers. You might not be completely secure with them, but proxy servers make it a lot harder for hackers to get what they want.

Wary of e-commerce websites

There are many websites which look quite authentic but are actually made by cyber criminals to get your credit card details. Again, social engineering has a role to play in the functioning of such sites. However, you can figure out the authenticity of a site by looking for certain signs. If a site accepts only cash, check or virtual payments then you should avoid it. Also, ensure that the shop has a physical address in your country.

Beware of malware links

Hackers often use popular events to spread malware. When the game Starcraft 2 was released, security firms reported that a lot of downloads were merely wrappers for malware. The same thing happened when Michael Jackson died. Numerous videos surfaced claiming to be recordings of the last moments of the pop star, but the links actually led to a malware.

Use the latest browsers

Most of the older Windows systems are shipped with Internet Explorer 6 and users continue to depend on it. Sites like Google and YouTube do not support that browser and you will not get a good browsing experience if you are adamant on using it. Not only that, there are a lot of security holes in IE 6. So, it is best to go for the newer versions of the browser or use a different browser to stay secure online.

These are only some of the things you need to do, to ensure that your online communication is secure. Apart from this, you should ensure that your software and OS are updated and that you act cautiously while surfing the net. Some of the things mentioned above might seem trivial now, but they can actually be very useful when implemented.

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