At this point, it’s easy to see why the vast majority of people are increasing their internet usage. The fact that we are urged to stay at home in order to keep ourselves safe from the coronavirus and to prevent its further spread has become the new normal these days.

We now rely on the internet far more than we used to, whether it’s to gather information, continue with our education, or even to run a business.

As useful as the internet is, it can also be a dangerous place. Cybercriminals lurk everywhere on the internet, and given the fact that these are desperate times we need to adapt to, the likelihood of you becoming a victim is much higher.

Failing to secure yourself online will not only mean that your sensitive information might get stolen, but you might also lose money since most transactions are done online.

So, how exactly do we protect ourselves from cybercrime during the pandemic? 

Install an Antivirus

One of the basic means to protect yourself from cybercriminals is to install antivirus software. These programs will prevent malware from wreaking havoc on your computer pby preventing your computer from downloading them.

In the event that you accidentally download malware, these programs are capable of quarantining the malicious programs.

Use a VPN

Another good way to protect yourself online is by using a virtual private network (VPN). VPNs ensure that your online activity is both private and difficult to trace by encrypting your connection. Not even your IP address is visible.

While there are many choices online, is a good resource to not only find which is best for you, but to also help you better understand how VPNs work. 

Never Open Unsolicited Emails

Many cybercriminals use emails to inject malicious code into your computer. They also use social engineering techniques to gain sensitive information from you. As a general rule, never open unsolicited emails or emails from strangers.

Instead, mark them as spam so that emails of similar nature automatically end up in your spam folder. These sketchy emails can become tiresome to delete manually if you don’t mark them as spam.

Update Device Software

Another effective way to keep yourself safe is to ensure that your device has the latest software installed. Cybersecurity is essentially an arms race in that black hat hackers are always looking for security vulnerabilities to exploit, while white hat hackers are constantly trying to counteract this.

Software updates come with security patches that render these security exploits ineffective. This is also why iPhones retain their value much longer than their Android counterparts, since they enjoy twice as many years of security updates.

The internet is more than just a medium of communication. It is a lifeline for the people who don’t want to be tied down during this pandemic.

Even when COVID-19 has forced businesses and schools to temporarily close, the internet has allowed us to continue with these pursuits. However, it’s important to be vigilant so that cybercriminals aren’t able to turn a lifeline into a medium for crime, and so that we can still continue with our pursuit of education without creating big problems for ourselves.

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