Top 10 Internet Safety Rules & What Not to Do Online

In the digital era, safeguarding your online presence is as crucial as locking your front door. This article delves into the top 10 internet safety rules, outlining what to do and what not to do, complete with facts, tools, and helpful tables for easy understanding. Our guide is designed to enhance your online security and privacy, helping you navigate the complexities of the digital world with confidence.

Top 10 Internet Safety Rules & What Not to Do Online

1. Protecting Personal Information

Do: Utilize privacy settings on social media and other online platforms to control who sees your information. Don’t: Avoid posting sensitive details like your home address, phone number, or bank information.

  • Fact: Identity theft affected 15 million consumers in 2020 (Javelin Strategy & Research).
  • Tool: Use services like Jumbo for automatic privacy setting adjustments.

2. Strong and Unique Passwords

Do: Create complex passwords combining letters, numbers, and symbols. Don’t: Refrain from using easily guessable passwords like “password” or “123456”.

  • Fact: 81% of breaches leveraged either stolen or weak passwords (Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report).
  • Tool: Password managers like LastPass can generate and store strong passwords.

3. Caution with Links and Attachments

Do: Verify links by hovering over them to preview the URL. Don’t: Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown sources.

  • Fact: Phishing attacks account for more than 80% of reported security incidents (Cisco).
  • Tool: Use Web of Trust (WOT) for website reputation ratings.

4. Regular Software Updates

Do: Regularly update your operating system and software to patch security vulnerabilities. Don’t: Ignore update notifications, as they often fix critical security issues.

  • Fact: 60% of breaches involved vulnerabilities for which a patch was available but not applied (Ponemon Institute).
  • Tool: Use patch management software like ManageEngine Patch Manager Plus.
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Top 10 Internet Safety Rules & What Not to Do Online

5. Secure Network Use

Do: Use VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) on public Wi-Fi to encrypt your data. Don’t: Avoid sending sensitive information over unsecured networks.

  • Fact: 34% of global internet users have been victims of cybercrime (Symantec).
  • Tool: VPN services like NordVPN offer secure browsing.

6. Safe Download Practices

Do: Only download from reputable websites and verified sources. Don’t: Avoid downloads from suspicious sites or email attachments from unknown senders.

  • Fact: Malware infections via email attachments increased by 600% in 2020 (F-Secure).
  • Tool: Antivirus software like Bitdefender can scan downloads for threats.

7. Responsible Social Media Posting

Do: Think before you post and be mindful of the permanence of online content. Don’t: Refrain from sharing anything that could be used against you, like explicit photos or sensitive personal information.

  • Fact: Over 54% of employers have found content on social media that caused them not to hire a candidate (CareerBuilder).
  • Tool: Use Google Alerts to monitor your online presence.

8. Utilizing Privacy Tools

Do: Employ ad blockers and privacy-focused browsers to enhance online privacy. Don’t: Neglect website and app privacy settings which can expose your data.

  • Fact: Over 25% of internet users employ ad blockers (GlobalWebIndex).
  • Tool: Privacy browsers like Brave and ad blockers like Adblock Plus can protect your data.

9. Education on Online Scams

Do: Stay informed about the latest online scams and their recognition. Don’t: Assume that you’re immune to being targeted by cyber fraud.

  • Fact: In 2020, the IC3 received 791,790 complaints of suspected internet crime (FBI).
  • Tool: Websites like Scamwatch provide updates on current online scams.
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10. Online Etiquette and Respect

Do: Practice kindness and respect in your online interactions. Don’t: Engage in cyberbullying, trolling, or other forms of online harassment.

  • Fact: Around 37% of young people have experienced cyberbullying (Ditch the Label).
  • Tool: Platforms like ReThink prompt users to reconsider potentially harmful messages.
Top 10 Internet Safety Rules & What Not to Do Online

Our digital world requires vigilance and proactive measures for safety. By following these guidelines and utilizing the recommended tools, you can significantly reduce your risk of cyber threats and maintain a secure online presence. Remember, your digital footprint is as important as your physical one, so tread carefully and responsibly online.


Written by: Carl J. Jones

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