Internet viruses are, sadly, nothing new. They have been around for as long as the internet itself, and they take a number of forms. However, there are many myths and horror stories surrounding computer viruses – especially when it comes to phishing. While many of these stories are unfortunately true, it is worth understanding exactly what the threat is and how to prevent yourself from falling victim to it.
Phishing, for example, is one of the most common forms of internet virus. It is effective because scammers play on the fallibility of human nature, targeting victims’ vulnerability online through innocent-sounding emails, texts, and social media messages.
While antivirus software is the best tool you can use to prevent hackers and malware from accessing your devices, there are a number of further methods you can use to take your online safety to the next level.
Be Aware Of How Malware Can Infiltrate Your Devices
The first technique you should use to stay safe and defend yourself against phishing threats is the ability to spot these virus-ridden messages before you click on their links or input any sensitive information.
Phishing hackers work in a similar manner to con artists, who force you into acting before you’ve really thought through your actions. It’s a rush tactic in which phishing hackers pose as important institutions such as tax authorities, banks, and insurance companies. They know that when the bank or taxman comes calling, you feel obliged to respond.
They usually trick you by asking for card details or for you to click a link to claim free compensation or a tax return – which anyone would find tempting.
Understand that no real bank, government, or insurance company would demand this of you. Once you recognize these tricks and the thought process behind them, you are far better equipped to defend yourself against them online. If you want to learn more about how to prevent phishing, click here.
Consider Using A VPN
One of the best ways you can stay safe online and protect yourself from viruses, unwanted trackers, and scammers is to use a VPN router. VPN stands for virtual private network and is essentially a way of creating a private network connection by using public networks sourced elsewhere. Basically, it scrambles your IP address so scammers can’t track your whereabouts or your computer because your IP address is assigned to a randomized network anywhere around the globe.
This is a great way to stay safe online because it provides genuine anonymity and gives you a far greater level of privacy than if you were running straight through your router at home.
If you have a VPN, you will still need an existing internet connection, but it acts as a barrier between you and your home router, meaning hackers can’t track you.
Consider Using Encrypted Email And Communication Platforms
Another powerful way to stay safe online and protect yourself against phishing hackers, in particular, is to use an encrypted email or communications platform. This means that no one can read or access your emails except from you and the sender/recipient who is using the same network as you, meaning external hackers can’t read your sensitive information and nor can the email service provider.
You can also elect to delete emails after a certain length of time to increase privacy levels.
The same can be said of encrypted communications platforms – most notably WhatsApp and Signal, which provide you with end-to-end encryption to prevent anyone else from seeing your messages or accessing your sensitive data.
If you are interested in even more technology-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.