You Graduated to Internet Safety 202

In our Internet Safety 101 post we gave you some tips to polish up your Internet safety skills. We also asked what you do to stay safe online and received a host of helpful comments. We’ve summarized your best tips below in what we’re calling “Internet Safety 202.”

How You Get Online

Most of us use the Internet everyday on multiple devices. And almost all of us will use an Internet browser to get online. But what browser should you use?

  • Mozilla Firefox is preferred by many of our customers. They recently added a feature that lets you know when you’re visiting a website that has been breached in the last year. This lets you know if it’s safe (or not!) to enter your personal data on the page.
  • Others prefer Google Chrome for browsing. Chrome now allows you to sync your Google accounts, so you can access all your favourite bookmarks and passwords from any device. Be sure to update what information is synced and confirm your data is encrypted so it’s protected. You can learn more here.
  • What browser is your go-to?

FixMeTip: No matter what browser you’re using, it’s a good idea to have AdBlock installed. This can help avoid tracking and malware by blocking intrusive ads and reduces the risk of ‘malvertising’ infections. Click here for other ways to optimize your browser for online safety.

How You Connect to the Internet

Many people suggested using a virtual private network (VPN). We couldn’t agree more. Here at our office we use NordVPN because:

  • It shields your browsing from hackers and surveillance
  • It has Quick Connect buttons that make turning it on a breeze
  • Their reliable, military-grade encryption is one we can trust
  • It’s super fast wherever we are
  • They offer 24/7 assistance from a friendly support team like ours
A VPN create a hack-proof, private tunnel for your Internet data to travel through.

One of readers asked do “VPNs protect cell phone calls in public from eaves dropping or is strictly a security measure for online browsing?” Great question! A VPN will encrypt your Wi-Fi calls, like the ones you make through Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. However, calls made through your cell carrier are not encrypted.

Another person wanted to know if “NordVPN is connected to their router, do they still need to download NordVPN on the individual laptops and cell phones?” With NordVPN on your router every device connected to your router will have its traffic sent through the encrypted tunnel. Save on NordVPN when you try it today!

How You Search Online

A FixMeStick reader suggested using “the incognito window to watch YouTube and surf the web.” This is a great tip! Incognito is specific to Chrome and allows you to browse privately. On Firefox and Safari it’s called Private Browsing, Edge calls it an InPrivate Window.

Private browsing means your browser won’t save:

  • Your browsing history
  • Cookies and site data
  • Information entered in forms

However, downloads and bookmarks will still be saved and your activity might still be visible to websites you visit, employers and your Internet Service Provider. In other words, what you do in Incognito or Private Browsing isn’t stored on your computer but your browser still knows what you’re doing.

Private browsing can be very helpful when you’re using another person’s computer or searching for a birthday present on a shared device. Just know there are limitations.

Another reader mentioned they use duckduckgo.com as their search engine. DuckDuckGo prides themselves on privacy, stating:

  • They don’t store your personal information
  • They don’t follow you around with ads
  • They don’t track you in or out of private browsing mode

Chrome recently made DuckDuckGo a default search engine option. To change your default search engine in Chrome, go to Settings > Manage Search Engines. A spokesperson for DuckDuckGo stated “we’re glad that Google has recognized the importance of offering consumers a private search option.”

Visit duckduckgo.com to try it yourself!

How You Save Your Passwords

On average, most people have 107 online accounts registered to one email address. In the US and UK, this number rose to 130 and 118 respectively. That’s a lot of passwords. You have a few options when it comes to remembering all those passwords:

  • Built in feature to remember your password on your browser
  • Password manager, like Dashlane
  • Paper and pencil

One of our readers asked why we “suggest a password manager as well as the built-in option on your browser?” Well, we want to give you options. A password manager is great because they don’t store your master password on their servers, only locally on your device. But most password managers will cost you. If you have a lot of devices, having your password manager sync your passwords across device can be worthwhile.

The built-in feature on your browser is good, convenient, and comes with your browser. But if you share this computer or leave it unlocked, anyone can access your accounts. Two factor authentication is a great way to make your accounts more secure if you’re using the built in browser storage, that way a second code is needed to get into your account.

One of our readers suggested trying to remember to log out of sites when you leave them. This is a great suggestion!

Have a topic you want to see on our blog? Leave a comment below!

15 comments

  1. Bonnie Avonrude - Reply

    Thanks for this info-it’s great for someone like me who is learning and trying to stay safe!
    Bonnie

  2. Jeff Clowes - Reply

    I use DASHLANE and it is one of the best I have used. I was so impressed that I bought the pro version. It was a no brainer after I seen what it was capable of. I find it user friendly and anyone could use it.

  3. Anonymous - Reply

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    In your bulletin you suggest using NordVPN to keep your browsing safe, I am using ‘Norton VPN. Could you tell me which is the best to use or are they as good as each other offering the same protection?

    Kind regards

    Steve T

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Steve, all VPNs perform the same function. We encourage you to look around for the best VPN that suits your needs. At FixMeStick, we prefer using NordVPN.

  4. Anonymous - Reply

    I have the stick plugged in, but NOTHING happens, please get it working.

  5. George Hepple - Reply

    Always use different password for all the sites you are registered with like Amazon, eBay etc, I visit quite a lot online retail sites that I am registered with and never used the same password for them.
    Also I can remembered most of the passwords I use especially the one I visit most but also I don’t have my passwords stored on my computer and prefer to remember them and I also use Two factor authentication so if I use a different computer or device to I get a notification code sent to mY mobile phone which I most accept or it wont allow me to login in

  6. Anonymous - Reply

    I use a password manager called KEYPASS. It is free and works really well. I have had it for 3 years now with no problems.

  7. David Harcrow - Reply

    I’ve had Fixmestick for a year now, when I first run it there was 3 infection it got rid of, but I’ve run Fixmestick on a regular basis for a year now and it has not found anything else, Am I that good at avoiding infections or is my fixmestick not working properly?….just wondering!

  8. Barb - Reply

    In regards to Private Browsing, I am using Edge. I have PC Matic and PC Magnum. Before I shut down I run PC Magnum to clean and erase all I have done on the computer. Is this enough to well lets say not to leave bread crumps ? To clean out my browsing history ?

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Bard, Yes, clearing your browsing history is a great habit, it can give you a more private browsing experience!

  9. Anonymous - Reply

    I don’t shop on line or any of that stuff so l am very carefull, I am not on the computer a lot . I don’t Facebook, tweeter, or any of that, I would say l am old school.

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