If the internet was like a football team or a really gorgeous looking celebrity, then it is no gain-saying that we are all die-hard fans. What is more interesting, that young folks used to be the ones inclined to the culture of ‘fan-hood’. These days, even the aged are choosing not to be left behind.
For several reasons, the young and old, rich or poor, races of the world seem to want to take advantage of the current level of technological advancement the world is experiencing in this 21st century in every aspect of their daily lives. The sky-rocketing level of internet development and usage we have today didn’t begin yesterday, just like the True Blue Casino dominance.
Taking a quick journey down the memory lane, it all began during the early 50s and 60s when there was so much increase in the data of the world and the dire need to just make the human existence as easy as it could be. Fast track to the 80s, the world wide web emerged and that initiated the technological upgrade the world needed. The rest, they say, is history.
Two Sides Of A Coin – Advantages And Disadvantages
Looking back now, the world at large is grateful for the internet. Across every ramification of the human endeavor, we see the positive impact of the internet and it is almost impossible to imagine our current age and centuries to come without the internet. The internet has proven fundamental across various sectors and industries of the world. Thanks to the internet:
- communication is easier and faster;
- connection to the past and present, no matter the age and time has been made possible;
- access to information is top-notch and just at the tip of everyone’s finger;
- education and learning made easy;
- government of various countries now find governance and administration less strenuous,
- vast and high technological advancement and just so many more opportunities to live that the internet has opened up already for the coming generations.
Just like two sides of a coin, the internet has got its disadvantages too. The internet has brought to our lives and our world a number of cons too. Some of which are:
- device damaging content;
- personal data invasion;
- increasing social disconnection amongst humans;
- malware on personal devices and gadgets;
- a wide range of false information;
- health hazards, and several others.
However, let’s just conclude that it’s a basic phenomenon of life. Whatever brings so much advantage is mostly bound to have its downsides.
Elusion Of Surfing The Internet Safely – A Hard Pill To Swallow
Every day, internet space keeps getting larger and larger. The flipside to this is that despite the numerous disadvantages of the internet, the world keeps producing data, and the need to keep surfing the internet is on the increase.
Research proves that on a daily basis of man’s existence, more than half of the entire world’s population is on the internet at once. That’s a total of about 3.5 billion persons surfing the internet at the same time for different reasons and different motives. This makes you want to ask, is it still safe to surf the internet?
The hardest pill to swallow is the truth, but it has to be embraced either way. So, here’s an honest answer, it is almost impossible to surf the internet safely. This might sound pretty scary and too affirmative, but it’s the basic reality. Why? First, it’s important to establish the following facts.
- It is almost impossible for humans to stop using the internet.
- The internet has billions of users daily, each with different reasons and motives, good or bad. Hence, 100% safety at all times cannot be guaranteed.
- Sourced information and sites visited on the internet are usually monitored by internet providers, web developers, and even the government making it almost impossible to have cyber privacy.
- Anytime one visits the internet, there will always be a trail of data that would be left behind. The bitter truth, the internet has already been built to work that way.
Why The Internet Is Unsafe – A Big Shot
Something worthy of note is exactly those things or ways that make the internet unsafe for its users. A lot of people who surf the internet really do not know those things they do wrong while surfing. Some of which are very basic things that we barely pay attention to or find ‘less harmful’. For example:
- Too many passwords for several sites.
- Logging into personal sites or social media accounts on different devices.
- Refusal to install anti-malware on personal/workspace devices or gadgets.
- Ignoring certain functional warnings indicted by devices or gadgets while not surfing the internet.
- Little or no attention to ‘terms of service’ that comes with websites and apps.
- Random sharing of personal information on unverified online forms.
- Random downloads from fake/unverified websites.
- Clicking on random links on several social media platforms.
On The Ball
The above examples focus on a few of the basic actions we don’t pay attention to but actually make the internet unsafe during surfing. Over time, the need for internet surfers to keep themselves aware of what exactly makes the internet unsafe is becoming pivotal.
As earlier stated, it is almost impossible to surf the internet safely in our world today, but to a very great extent, the level of hazards people encounter on the internet on a daily basis could be reduced drastically and hopefully, to the barest minimum.
Much more importantly on the frontline of internet hazards are the young users. Research shows that young individuals between the age of 5-30 are more technologically inclined and are the largest users of the internet daily.
Individuals within this age range are mostly still schooling, hence, it is of utmost importance for educational institutions that they ensure that young individuals are consistently exposed to these basic ways of avoiding internet hazards.
The Icing On The Cake
So, there’s the internet alongside its advantages and its disadvantages. It’s a natural phenomenon for everyone in life to always want to benefit from the good side of things, the way you would always want to win on the True Blue Casino. The internet is an essential part of our daily lives as humans and it’s highly important we feel safe in an environment we find ourselves in often.
Fortunately, there’s always a loophole to things. As much as it is not possible to rid the internet space entirely of human and technical hazards, there are several ways to surf the internet safely to a very reasonable degree, as well as ways to remedy internet hazards.
Basic Internet Safety Rules
Keep Professional And Private Data Private
It is very important to keep your professional and private information to yourself. If you must share at all, it should be very trusted friends, family, or co-workers. Ensure to also avoid giving it out to strangers by all means, (except in dire cases of emergency) and definitely not on social media.
Engage In Safe Browsing
This is another very key rule. Avoid ‘wandering’ while browsing and clicking on unnecessary links, websites, Pop-ups, and Ads. A very large percentage of them contain malware that can either infect your device or even expose your personal information. Sometimes, both.
Use Strong And Unique Passwords
A lot of people find it very shocking how their passwords are still being discovered by hackers despite keeping it safe enough and not revealing it to anyone. Well, these days, it feels like individuals that engage in cybercrimes are getting smarter.
They randomly guess very common passwords people would use based on their personal information. For example, birthdays of themselves, spouses or children, names themselves and family members, etc.
is very justifiable that people will use this to enable them to remember when they need it, but you are advised to use strong and unique ones that are not easy for cybercriminals to decipher. To be safe, use at least passwords of 15 or even more characters, ensuring to make it a combination of numbers, letters, and characters.
Constantly Secure Your Internet Connection
Our devices come with a local internet connection (Wi-Fi) that allows for the sharing of internet connection amongst several devices at once. Your internet connection can either be left on or off. When ‘on’ (in use), ensure to keep it secured with a password to avoid random users from connecting to it without your permission. An unauthorized connection can be very dangerous to your device and it can also put your personal information at very high risk.
Use A VPN
Virtual Private Network (VPN), has been proven to be very useful to improve internet surfing safety. Although the VPN is not guaranteed to provide 100% internet security, to a very large extent, it secures your device while you are connected to the internet directly or to Wi-Fi. It also ensures that whatever information you share during connection with another device cannot be monitored.
Use Reputable Anti-Virus Applications
Anti-virus application is basically used to prevent viruses from affecting our devices. It is necessary that you keep your anti-virus application updated at all times to protect your information and device while surfing the internet. There are also several fake anti-virus applications roaming the internet these days. Ensure you install reputable ones.
Keep Privacy Settings Enabled
Some of the social media platforms we use these days require that we sign up with our very vital and personal information. At the same time, the applications come with ‘privacy settings’ that needs to be enabled, once we sign up. It is expedient that we keep this setting enabled at all times to safeguard your personal data from other internet users.
Use Only Verified Websites
Just the way you would be very particular about any substance you take in into your mouth is the way you should avoid websites that you are unsure of. Internet experts have cautioned that website addresses without the HTTPS indicator are not safe to visit and download services from. The HTTPS keeps the connection between your device and the website you are visiting encrypted, hence, protecting your personal information and browsing history.
Make Transactions From Secure Platforms
What is known as ‘E-banking or internet banking has been made possible because of the internet but can also be very unsafe if we do not take the necessary precautions. Ensure that you make online transactions only from trusted and secure websites and preferably from platforms provided by your financial institution. This is because online transactions will mostly require you to provide very personal financial data that shouldn’t get into the hands of cybercriminals.
Stop To Read ‘Terms Of Service’
Anytime you come across ‘terms of service’ from any application or website, make sure you read through thoroughly, either lengthy or brief. More often than not, we are in a hurry to sign on, without the knowledge of how we have agreed to share our private information with a third party.
The Last Straw
The internet space is open to all and sundry. A major reason why some threats posed from using it cannot be totally eradicated. The internet space is also evolving daily, as well as security and privacy. What feels safe today might not be tomorrow. It is needful that you keep yourself informed and updated on internet development across the world.
Surfing the internet now feels almost as normal as other activities we engage in for our daily survival, but it could also end up quite detrimental to us if we do not take heed to the necessary internet surfing safety rules. As you keep surfing the internet, remind yourself that it takes you, to keep you safe.
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