The Internet, just like the real world, is full of all kinds of characters. An honest person in the real world is an honest person online. Along the same vein, a criminal in the real world is a criminal in the online world too. Unfortunately, the criminal presence or underworld on the Internet continues to increase with every passing year as hackers successfully scam thousands of Internet users out of hard earned money and more. Surfing the Internet 10 years ago is a completely different experience to surfing the Internet today. This does not mean that we need to run and hide. It simply means that we should use all of the resources available to protect ourselves and our personal information.
Although the realm of tasks that can be completed via the Internet has grown exponentially to where there are very few business and work tasks that can not be done online. When it comes to Internet safety, the areas where we are all at risk are when we perform those tasks that involve transmitting any personal information and when making a payment online. These types of transactions can be considered higher risk online activities because there is the risk that the information you are sending can be intercepted in some way and then used for criminal activity.
Every individual should guard against identity theft online and against having their credit card and banking details stolen. In fact, each of us should do everything possible to ensure that we have taken every precaution possible to make our online transactions safe. Guarding against criminal activity online is done through setting up good basic protective programs on your computer and by keeping them running at all times. Programs that protect you are things such as firewalls and antivirus programs. These are the basic safeguards that at minimum everyone should surf the Internet with. In addition to this, anytime that you are sending any information that needs to be protected, you should check to ensure that you are on a secure web page. Secure web pages always have a padlock symbol on them that indicates that any information sent via the page is secure and encrypted.
Other things that you can do to protect yourself online are, to be careful about clicking on links that you get in email messages. If you do not know the sender of an email, do not even open the email, much less click on any links that you find in there. Thieves send links in emails to web sties that look like authentic bank web sites. They then steal your log in details when you inadvertently enter them into their web site that they have created to look like your bank web site. Whenever you want to do business online, make it a habit to always type the address of the web site you want to visit into your browser rather than clicking on any links. This will protect you against the risk of using any dodgy links that have been sent to you by unscrupulous characters.