Internet Security article and tips for Windows users

Every day new and newer threats appear on the Internet. While earlier, one had to only worry about virus infections, we now have to face a whole new bunch of issues like Browser Hijackers, Rogue Software, Botnets, Ransomware, Phishing, Identity Thefts, Tabnabbing, Pastejacking and other forms of malware or malicious activities. While Windows 10/8/7 is secure and when fortified by a good security software to protect it, chances of being infected are near-nil – nowadays, in many cases, user intervention is asked for, and we inadvertently end up clicking a ‘Yes’,  resulting in a malware infection. This article on Internet Security offers some basic tips for Windows user, some precautions they should take, to stay safe online.

Internet Security article

Internet Security article & tips

Here are some simple yet effective tips that everyone should take care of while surfing the net.

1] First and foremost, always use a reputed and known security software and firewall and don’t fall for fake security solutions. Use a good anti-virus software or better still an Internet Security Suite. Always also make sure that all your installed software is up to date especially your operating system, security software and browser. Also, use some good free VPN software, if you can. You might also want to read this post on how to secure Windows PC. Also take a look at these free Internet Privacy Software.

2] Always use caution while giving out your email IDs to other sites (or people). These sites could spam you or even sell the email list to the third party, which can spam you. Always read their privacy statement first. If you can’t find one, then that’s another reason not to give them your email address.

3] Use strong passwords. Don’t use your name or simply the word ‘password’ or something that people can easily guess such as your date of birth. Hackers now use a method called social engineering which basically means that they stalk a user online by using Facebook, etc. to find important details about them and try to figure out the password using those details. The best method is to use a non-dictionary word that is a combination of upper case and lower case letters with digits. Do not use the same password for all of your accounts. Otherwise, if a hacker can guess the password of one of your accounts, the rest of your accounts will also be compromised.

4] Never click on anything you didn’t ask for, whether they are emails or web pages. This could be the trigger or the requested human intervention asked for by the malware to set foot on your computer. A simple rule to follow: If in doubt – don’t!

5] Make sure that you have set your  computer, tablet, smartphone or any other device to lock after a particular of idele time.

6] Be cautious of whom you befriend on social networks like Facebook, and do take the time to understand its privacy settings so that you know what you are sharing with others. Check out this guide on how to safeguard your Facebook account.

7] Don’t download pirated videos, movies, programs, cracks, etc. from torrents. That is not only illegal, but the number one source for Trojans and other malware that could potentially harm your computer.

8] Be careful where you download from, preferring only safe software download sites, and in any case never click Next Next blindly during installation. Opt out of bundled software, if any are offered.

9] Take care while logging into online accounts. Harden their privacy settings.

10] Make sure your Windows device privacy settings are hardened.

11] Learn how to prevent ransomware and stay protected, and what to do if you are infected with ransomware. Know about the anti-ransomware software to use and the Ransomware Decryption Tools to use to unlock your files.

12] The dangers of IoT are yet to filter down to the public. Be aware of them and learn how to secure your Internet of Things devices. More deadly is IoT Ransomware!

Following these tips and using some common sense while surfing, will definitely improve your chances of staying safe online. Download this Online Safety Tips Guide for Seniors.

Have any more tip? Please do share below for the benefit of all.

[Post updated in Jan 2017]

Posted by on , in Category Security with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

8 Comments

  1. Wisse

    Another suggestion to surf safer on the internet is to use sandbox technologie for your browser. I use Sandboxie myself and it works great. Nothing gets through. Close the browser and all the rubbiesh is gone. You can also use Sandboxie for testinstallations of programs (even malware).
    See also: http://www.trustware.com/ for a free version of Bufferzone which does the same thing (I did not use it so check for revieuws)

  2. japp

    To add safer browsing I’ve installed Clear Cloud:
    http://www.clearclouddns.com/

    It has stopped some web sites now and then.

  3. sunkumar

    Thanks wonderful tips , one more tip can be added safe browsing and browsing good sensible sites.

  4. OblongCircles

    You forgot switching to Firefox. Not trying to be facetious, it’s just a good alternative to IE and many of the issues cited above. I stopped using IE about 5 years ago due to the sluggishness, frequent vulnerabilities etc. and have not had a browser hijack, failure etc ever since.

  5. ^ I understand …5 years is a real long time! No wonder you call IE9 slow.

    Try IE9 and then tell me you still find it slower than FF 🙂

  6. Ed

    I consider myself a pretty safe surfer but am always looking for ways to improve it so I decided to take your advice and go to mvps.org and download their hosts file . As I usually do I made a backup of my original before installing the new one ( which I thought was kind of long ) and luckily I did make that backup because I wound up going back to it .
    In my opinion mvps is for the paranoids , this hosts file blocked everything and anything , every web page I viewed had red X’s all over it, I could not even play online games because the new hosts file was blocking it.
    If your the conspiracy theorist type that thinks someoene is sitting at another computer watching every move you make on the internet than this may be for you , as for me , yes I like security but could care less if a few companies watch my surfing habits .

    -@Windows Club
    IE9 is great , faster than firefox but I still need firefox to vie some webpages that IE9 is just not picking up.

  7. Sam Hollister

    I think most people are concerned about a government that violates freedom of speech and wishes to intimidate free speech. Here is a first pass at a way to increase your security. step1: get a VPN (virtual Private Network) setup. Look up VPN on the web and choose a VPN that has high security and a location that is more secure than one near you. Choose “OpenVPN” and the highest level of encryption available. Do a little research on the web about virtual private network security. Once you have a VPN account everything from the VPN server back to you is encrypted. If you set up your account properly, at least this can make it hard for someone to determine who you are if you don’t give them that information. If you want a higher level of security, you need the person you want to communicate with to also have a VPN account on the same VPN service that you have. If you do that, the whole transaction is encrypted.

    2) For communications on forums like this one you need a Facebook or a Google account. They, in turn, require your “old” email address. That means it is possible to find out your real account name and all the details of your account and past history. You can beat this problem by opening an email account with an outfit that does not require an “old” email address. Then go to Google and set up a new google email account and use your “old” sendic account as the “old” account. Furnish false information about your date of birth etc., to Google. The Google verifier sends an email to your old account and verifies that you exist. Next your google account is up and running and you can send posts such as this one with little chance of it coming back to you like a rotten egg on an egg MacMuffin!

  8. Phate

    Ive never ever got a virus etc from torrents, so point number 7 is not entirely true.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


4 + 1 =