Basic Cybersecurity Rules to Ensure Online Safety for Internet Users


In the wake of ever-increasing cyber-attacks, it has become necessary that internet users take some security and precautionary measures.

Cybersecurity experts at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) are of the opinion that online identity theft for fraud is now a significant threat to e-Business services and even Government.

Three major areas that offer the most susceptibility to internet users online are password management, email, and social media, which remains most used access points and communication media online.

There exist a few basic cybersecurity rules that internet users can observe to ensure their safety online when it comes to managing passwords/passcodes as well as social media.

Password Management:
Experts advise that internet users should as much as possible avoid overtly easy-to-guess passwords/passcodes such as their names, birthdays, anniversary dates, default passwords and even “123456”.

Interestingly, the password “123456” is one of the most common passwords in the world.
Verizon 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report reveals that 63% of cybersecurity breaches are due to weak or default passwords.

It is imperative to make your passwords difficult for hackers to guess by including a mix of upper and lower case alphabets as well as individual characters. Passwords with only lowercase alphabets are more likely to be easily hacked.

Internet users in the developing countries often gather in workspaces where they usually use shared devices and computer systems. As a user of a shared device, it is essential that you never save your password on that device. Apart from the fact that you will be preventing unauthorized access to your data, it is that your password will be hacked.

Email Safety Tips:
One of the easiest ways for one’s data to get hacked easily is via emails. Statistics show that almost 30% of internet users open phishing emails while 12% click the embedded links or open the attachments in the mail.

To keep your email safe, observe the following simple rules.
 1. Avoiding clicking directly on links within emails, especially when the links are long, untraceable and from unknown persons. Always endeavor to test such links embedded in emails by crosschecking the URL within the link.

2. Avoid downloading attachments within phishing emails without first verifying the source, analyzing format and motive of the sender.

Social Media:
With billions of internet users logging onto their social media accounts every second on a daily basis around the world, the likelihood there would be victims.

Basic security rules to observe
1. Avoid granting unknown, unverified third-party websites and applications access to your social media profiles.

2. Avoid clicking on suspicious external links.

3. Be careful not to join wary groups on social media. Exit immediately if you have no mutual friends/contacts or persons known to you as members.

4. Use two-step verification where available

This article by Precious first appeared here on

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