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๐ŸŒ Protecting Yourself on the Internet



Are you really safe on the web? 


Every now and then, an internet user comes along and posts a suspicious link. You don't know where it goes or what will happen once you go there. So here's this guide to hopefully help with this problem.


1. HOVER OVER THE LINK

If you're not sure about the link that random guy just posted, HOVER OVER IT. Usually you will be able to tell what website was just posted.


Go ahead, hover over this. See what it says? It says https://gab.com.


Be aware that links can be disguised as other links. Ex. www.storyteller.pw


2. HAVE AN ANTI-VIRUS

Let's say you clicked a link and it lead you to a really weird website. You may not think anything of it. Sometimes nothing happens and other times you won't even know what happened.


Always make sure you are using an anti-virus when using the Internet. Not only is downloading unknown items a bad idea, but so is visiting websites you normally wouldn't visit.


There are many anti-viruses out there, some are paid and some are free.


3. HAVE AN VPN

A virtual private network extends a private network across a public network and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. The benefits of a VPN include increases in functionality, security, and management of the private network. It serves as extra protection and security. 



3. NEVER TYPE IN YOUR INFORMATION

Some websites are designed to steal your information. See that website you just clicked on to get free Bitcoin? All you have to do is type in your Credit Card information and and Social Security number. DON'T DO IT!


First off, nothing is free. If it's too good to be true, it is. Secondly, I assume the majority of you are aren't that stupid.


If you are ever unsure if you are actually inputting your information into a secure website. Look at the top in the address bar. Chrome Browsers will warn you if a website is dangerous, it is highly recommend that you do not proceed any further and get out of there! Then you will get a warning about privacy or not secure, it is highly recommended that you don't put any sensitive information on that site.


Also, if you are on these connections, try to make sure you are using HTTPS. HTTPS is always secure, and when you input your information it goes through an encrypted connection to get to where it needs to go. Your address bar should have an lock symbol, ๐Ÿ”’ meaning it's a secure HTTPS connection.



4. CHECK OUT SHORT LINKS

I'm sure you've seen people post a link that's really short, but it gives no information as to where it's going. But don't worry, there are ways to check!

Chrome does as well: Clear Links, Simple URL Extender, Unshorten.linkilovelongurl

You can also use website: http://www.prevurl.com/

When clicking on links, ALWAYS make sure you know what you're clicking. If you are unsure where you are, RUN YOUR ANTI-VIRUS & DON'T TYPE IN YOUR INFO!


5. UPDATE YOUR OS AND OTHER SOFTWARE REGULARLY

With updates come bug fixes & added security (if any). Always update whenever you can.


6. DISABLE ADS AND TRACKERS BY INSTALLING AD BLOCKERS

Ad Blockers are your best friend and are highly recommended, they help speed up web browsing by removing and filtering advertisements, pop-ups, and trackers. It also improves performance and quality of life.

There are various fundamental reasons why one would want to use ad-blocking:

  • Protecting privacy

         · Reduces the number of HTTP cookies, browser fingerprinting and other aggressive behavioral tracking techniques

  • Protecting from malvertising

        · Any intrusive actions from the ads, including but not limited to: drive-by downloads, invisible overlay click areas (such as a regular link that opens an unexpected external website), opening  in a new tab, popups and auto-redirects.

  • Saving bandwidth (and by extension, money)

        · On most websites user tracking and advertising code alone constitutes the majority of the downloadable content, thus significantly inflating the amount of data downloaded by the user ("web bloat")

  • Better user experience

        · Some ads cover the text making it partly illegible, making the site unusable

        · Less cluttered pages

        · Faster page loading times

        · Fewer distractions

  •  Accessibility reasons

        · The motion in some ads is nauseating for some users

  • Save battery on mobile devices or laptops
  • Prevent undesirable websites from making ad revenue out of the user's visit

Here are some add-ons for Chrome-based browsers (also for Firefox): AdGuard AdBlocker (best one), AdBlocker Ultimate, Fair AdBlocker, and Adblocker Genius PROSamsung Browser for mobile devices allows you to install ad blockers. And the best part, these Ad Blockers are free.


7. DON'T INSTALL SOFTWARE YOU DIDN'T ASK FOR

It's quite simple: if something pops up on your screen and asks if you want to install some software that you didn't download or request, DON'T DO IT!


8. PROTECT YOURSELF FROM SHOCK/BAD SITES

People can be malicious, especially on the Internet. Some will try to cause harm to your system for seemingly no reason. Some also will send you or post links to websites that are utterly disgusting, with the sole intention to get a laugh at your reaction.


With that in mind, you should protect yourself.


Of course, reading the steps above this section will help tremendously, especially if you actually download a few items.


Some say to use Web of Trust, it shows you which websites you can trust based on millions of users' experiences, but don't highly don't recommend it for it's bias and inaccuracy. 

TOSDR.org gives you a more accurate rating, especially on privacy. 

Ad Guard has a website safety check.


9. STAY AWAY FROM BIG TECH AND THEIR TRACKERS

Now we all used to Facebook, Google, Apple, etc. but they are known for tracking people and privacy issues. Not only that but they have analytics trackers everywhere on the web. Facebook and Google are the top tracking offenders.

Ad Blockers can also block trackers, use DuckDuckGo's privacy web extension


10. DON'T DELETE SYSTEM 32


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I hope this guide has helped ya'll all along your travels in the web. Remember, you can never be too careful. 

If you have any suggestions for this guide, please reply below. Thanks!


Joe Bloggs

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