Most internet providers offer a range of security features as a standard part of the broadband package that you’re signing up for – here’s how to make sure your provider is up to speed on the security score.
Standard Security Protocols
In general, all internet providers will have a level of embedded standard security protocols: these usually include encryption processes and cryptography techniques to facilitate the transfer of data. Measures will be in place to prevent unauthorized access to the network, too. Security protocols will also involve the use of Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTPS), and Secure Socket Layer (SSL).
Research Your Options
There are lots of internet providers available to choose from, so spend some time carefully researching your options, paying particular attention to the security features offered by each – you may have to read the small print to find out the exact details of this provision.
Have a look, too, at various reviews of possible providers,like this, to get an idea of the general service they provide and to find out other customers’ experiences with using them. This can be a useful way to find out whether the internet provider is likely to be a good fit for your requirements in terms of security.
As part of your research into the security offered, look to see if the following features are offered:
Some internet providers feature a site-blocking facility, which ensures that there’s no risk of you or anyone in the household inadvertently accessing a site that contains malware or phishing elements. These sites should be blocked at a network level to ensure that no device that is connected to your router is able to access them.
Research the internet providers available, as a number offer virus protection as a complementary part of their packages. This software can usually be installed on multiple devices, and, as well as guarding against viruses or malware, also features identity protection, firewalls, and a phishing attack blocker. It can also advise users that are about to visit a potentially dangerous site by providing information on the possible presence of spyware, online scams, and phishing.
This is important to look out for; it’s frequently included as part of internet provision. Parental controls allow you to set parameters in terms of what your kids can and cannot access on any devices connected to your router and is a useful tool to ensure that children are only able to view appropriate content.
What About Cloud Providers?
Data exchanged with cloud providers is encrypted at both ends, which makes it extremely difficult for hackers to access. Like other internet providers, cloud platforms also use a constantly evolving roster of security protocols to keep their connection – and their users’ data – as secure as possible.
Most cloud providers also enhance security by splitting data files into different blocks; each block is separately encrypted and stored in various locations so that even if a hacker gained access and was able to decrypt the data they’d stolen, they would just get random chunks of information, rather than any complete files.
What You Can Do Yourself
As well as researching the various internet providers to find the one that can offer you the best security, there are many steps you can take to safeguard your online security. Firstly, ensure that you are not only using high-quality virus protection but make sure you update this regularly, too, to have the peace of mind that you’re getting the very best from this tool.
You could also consider using a VPN (virtual private network) to protect yourself further while online. A VPN effectively hides your details and location from hackers, and using one can make browsing or buying online over a public Wi-Fi connection considerably safer.
Be vigilant in terms of the websites you’re visiting: looking for ‘HTTPS in the address bar, as opposed to simply ‘HTTP – especially on checkout and payment processing pages – is a good way of avoiding unsafe sites. Be mindful of cloned sites, too, particularly when you have been directed to these addresses via a link. Phishing scams often take the form of emails sent that purport to be from a well-known company, asking the recipient to click on a link to access tempting savings. In the case of a scam, this link will lead to a fake site, and any personal and bank details entered here will be compromised.
Make sure your passwords are as secure as possible, too: don’t use the same password across multiple accounts and create passwords that contain a mix of upper and lower case letters and numbers, as well as a special character or two. Resist using a password that includes any whole words or elements that could be easily guessed, such as your name or date of birth.
Staying Safe Online
By checking carefully the security protocols that your internet provider has put in place, as well as taking action yourself to guarantee your safety, you can access the internet with confidence.
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