Tips for Staying Safe Online

The Internet is an amazing resource and it should be apparent to all that it is here to stay. There is so much information people can gather, so many tasks people can accomplish, and so many personal connections to be made that the Internet is truly a one of a kind and irreplaceable tool in today's world. But as with everything, there are ways you can get in trouble if you are not careful. Along with all of the good the Internet provides, it also provides a medium for scammer, identity thieves, and other predators. This certainly shouldn't scare you away from using the Internet, but while doing so, you should be aware of the risks. Listed below are the top ten things you can do to keep yourself safe.

The Top Ten

1 Use Anti-virus Software

Virus that get into your computer can cause all kinds of problems. They can make your computer slow or unusable, cause all sorts of pop up advertisements to be displayed, or allow spammers to use your computer and your internet connection to send out their Viagra, porn, or phishing e-mails. But perhaps worst of all, a virus can operate completely under the radar sneakily recording and reporting back what you do on your computer including the websites you visit and everything you type in including passwords and credit card numbers.

Make sure you have software in place to prevent you from becoming infected with a computer virus, to detect if an infection has taken place, and to help your remove viruses.

Kaspersky, F-Secure, Bitdefender, McAfee. You can't go wrong with any of these anti-virus programs.

Having Norton and McAfee are definitely great ways to protect your computer.

Nope, They don't do anything, Just use Task Manager and you're fine.

2 Switch to Google Chrome

Just don't Google Chrome may look all fine and safe but it isn't. They track information, even if you don't have a account. Switch to Mozilla Firefox (Firefox for short). They're a lot better. Chrome may be very well known but Firefox is way safer.

I use Firefox because Google Chrome is plagued with privacy issues and sure people would obviously have a Google account but they don't realize that their data is being monitored by a company

Hundreds of people use this. Safari is kinda on its own. Nobody's gonna pull of something big

Along with the fact that it is lightweight and super fast, Google Chrome is an incredibly safe browser. In the 2009 Pwn2Own competition where security experts get paid to hack web browsers, Google Chrome was the only browser of the big 4 (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari) that could not be hacked.

3 Don't Give Out Passwords

This my #1 for all users of thetoptens. Share your password, and your busted!

Absolutely this is very key factor to be secured on internet. And now a days most spammers used this way.

Whenever I was younger, I played a game called Animal Jam, an gave my password away because I wanted to be rarer. (That game is mostly about rares) And I bet you know how that went. All of my items were stolen/taken from me. It was not smart at all for me to do what I did. You never know who you can trust. Even if they seem nice, they may just be tricking you, so be careful. And if I were you, I'd only give out that information to your parents and/or relatives.

In this world there are many hackers your emails and your electronics, I suggest to all you not to give out your passwords.

4 Don't Click Links In E-mails

The most effective con artists are not the ones that sneak in the back door; they are the ones you invite in the front. When you follow links in e-mail messages, you are opening yourself up to the possibility having your personal information stolen or basically handing over the keys to your computer allowing a hacker access to anything it contains.

Phishing attacks are scary in how convincing they can be. Even the most web savvy individual can be duped by a phishing message if the context is right (appears to come from a website they use, information appears to be accurate and relevant). And once you click through the link provided in the email and fill out a form, you have been had. So to keep yourself safe, even if an email message from you bank, from Facebook, or from any other site appears to be real, copy the link into your address bar, browse to the site directly, or give them a call. Just don't click that link.

Don't click links in E-mails from people you don't know. Or just don't click suspicious links.

Agreed. Especially if the email includes bad spelling, an extremely cheesy sob story and the most unlikely scenario ever imagined. Only click links when you are sure you know the person that is sending them, and even then be careful...

Duh! You will not get a Lear Jet and 10,000 dollars for free. The only things you can get for "free" on the Internet is spam emails, ads and viruses. There is an occasional free product that is good (like Google Chrome, which I am using now. ) Otherwise Don't DO this. Don't.

5 Know There is No Such Thing as Free

Free ringtones, free Acai trial, free credit reports, free eBook... nonsense. If you are receiving something of value, you are always giving away something that the other party considers to be more valuable. Much of the time this is an okay trade though. When you get a free ebook in exchange for you email address, it may very well be worth the new flood of e-mail messages you are going to receive. But when you give out your credit card or phone number for a free sample, don't be surprised when your cell phone bill or your credit card statements start showing subscription fees or monitoring charges for your "free" product.

Not even: life, air, the sun, free sample, happiness...

"The best things in life are free" But there are no free things!


One time when I was little, I clicked on an ad that said, 'FREE CURSORS', and the computer wouldn't work on mozilla firefox anymore. I had to switch to google chrome.

Be glad you did. Chrome is the most secure browser on the internet. But I can admit I used Firefox long ago too.

GNU/Linux. Free and Open Source software.

6 Ignore Pop-ups

Pop-ups are just stupid lies made by people with no life at all. So I mean, Pop-Ups can make you do stuff like break your computer or even worse, YOUR CPU. Also pop-ups can also be found in pornographic websites.

Be careful of pop-ups containing malicious links. One accidental click and your PC is rendered unusable (depends how severe the malware is). Unless you have a decent antivirus then it's likely it will quarantine it before the malware does any effect.

If you do you might break something.

Usually if a pop up appears then you are already doing something you shouldn't be...

7 Never Use Your Name for a Password

But what if nobody knows your name?

No one will ever not know your name unless you're on a desolate island and your parents just die

I wish my parents did this, they used their last name to put Netflix on my T.V.. I think they should stop. — Snow Phoenix

Or use your username as your password, or use your username backwards, or abc123. Everyone guesses those

8 If It Sounds Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is.

Person: yay! *clicks ad*
Person: *enters password*
Person: Bronx, New York
Person: Burger.
Person: Coca-Cola
*8 days later*
Fake Delivery guy: hey I see u ordered pizza and- OMG your HOUSE
Person: umm
Fake Delivery guy: *adds poison in Coca-Cola*
Person: drinks Coca-Cola*

Person: I don't feel so good...
Fake delivery guy: *shoots him and splits him into pieces when he passes out and burns the whole house down*

Win a free iPhone 6 If you submit these questions now!

Derp: *goes inside*

Lol you aren't getting an iPhone 6 you're just getting a virus so we know your address, password and bank account! Now time to share all that information online.

Derp: *Gets massacred by psychopaths with chainsaws*

Spin the wheel to see if you'll win an iPhone 11 pro!
*spins wheel*
You won! Now answer these questions about you.
*answers questions*

"Now answer these questions about you"

I'd just say "nope. GIVE ME THAT IPHONE 11 PRO RIGHT NOW"

Yeah, but there's this online clothing store called Shein and they're clothes are cheap, and cute, I thought it was fake. Anyways the clothes are a hit or miss.

9 Don't Share Personal Information On a Public Site

It may be tempting to leave your e-mail address or your phone number in a forum post or blog comment, but don't do it. Aside from the fact that this sort of information is systematically gathered and could result in a deluge of spam messages and unwanted phone calls, even the smallest amount of information may be used by people you want nothing to do with to track you down and determine exactly when you live.

Especially on Instagram and those social medias as they could say where you are at what time,so anybody seeing your posts could easily find you and kidnapp you!

I would never share my address, email, phone number or postal code, online

I would hate to tell one person my name and then they figure out A LOT about me!

10 Don't Open Unknown E-mail Attachments

Even when they appear to come from someone you know, be very careful when opening e-mail attachments. A popular way for a virus to spread from an infected computer is to automatically e-mail itself to all of the e-mail contacts stored on that computer. This e-mail looks like it came from the person you know and may seem very convincing, but that's how a good virus works. Then, once you open that attachment, your computer gets infected too and starts sending e-mails to your contacts.

If you are expecting an attachment and know what it is (your friend already told you they were sending pictures of the new baby), then you are probably safe. If not, be very careful.

Just like don't talk to strangers. Don't do it.

Don't be surprised if you do so... Open attachments only from known or verified senders.

What if you know what it is?

The Contenders

11 Don't Use Facebook

I deleted my facebook 2 years ago, I don't miss it at all, nothing but drama

Thankfully I don't have Facebook at all. It's DANGEROUS for many reasons.

All my friends are on Facebook and I'm not because firstly, I'm under the age, it's not safe or cool or anything (people think it is) and also, people can meet up with strangers and all that and I'm not sure but I think other people can see others' messages? Doesn't sound safe because they can find out information...

Maybe I should get out of Facebook. People keep saying it isn't safe. Ill just sign out of it.

12 Don't Submit Sensitive Information on Unsecured Webpages

When you submit information online such as you name, address, or credit card number, your information travels through multiple routers and servers on it's way to it's final destination; the website you intent to provide this information to. Along the way, this information can be seen by someone at any of the intermediate steps whether it is the owners of the WiFi hotspot you are connecting to or the admins any of the various servers connecting you to the destination website. When you submit information via a secured page (address starts with https://, browser shows a padlock or other similar icon) this information is encrypted. It can still be seen by all the same people, but it is impossible to read.

Put simply, secured pages keep your information safe while submitting information via an unencrypted can allow others to see your sensitive personal information.

Telling people your credit card number is flat out just not smart. And a lot of kids like giving away their grade levels or age. I get that you want people to see how old you are, but it's still not okay. If anyone asks you for information about you, you simply ignore them. You don't know why they want the information about you.


Yes, so true

13 Know That You Can't Truly Delete Anything from the Internet

That is if someone gets a backup of it. I've deleted some youtube videos accidentally and they said they couldn't get them back

Don't like a blog post you made on TheTopTens and want to remove it? You can try, but someone has probably already saved it to the internet archives.

This Journalist from inside edition got a lot of flash drives and stuff and found a lot of important stuff. She even found porn.
She also found child pornography, they contacted the authorities.

Take a pic if yourself nude and put it on social media? Well,when it's on there,its on there forever.

And then you go through the drama of "I want to have sex with you" and "You're a stripper"

14 Get Linux

Linux operating systems have many advantages for web browsing: The system is very light and requires little memory, leaving more room for speedy browsing. Linux does not get viruses. Open source software is frequently updated and any security issues pass under the eyes of multiple developers. All modern browsers (except Internet Explorer, which is so insecure you should not be using it anyway) work the same way on a Linux.

This is only (barely) true as long as Linux operating systems stay quietly obscure. It's hard to come across malware, but security loopholes are still found quite often by the same hackers that use and contribute to Linux projects. Some will report them, some will sell or use them for their own gain. They'll never be as vulnerable as a Windows system, since the code CAN (usually) be combed over by security experts, but as Linux gets popular there will also be a bigger market in Linux exploits.

This covers all the system - related security loopholes in itself.

Linux DOES get viruses, but since it's open source unlike Windows, it's a lot less likely

15 Don't go to the deep web

The deep web itself isn't illegal, but the stuff on there can be. Most people should stay away from this.

How can a website kill you?

Hiring a hitman, tracking where the person is and assassination

This should be in number 1. The Deep Web is one dangerous place. You could get arrested, kidnapped or assassinated premeditately just by making a mistake.

Yeah, unless you wanna get arrested. Or worse, death.

16 Keep Your Anti-Virus Updated

The annoying thing about old computers is that they stop producing anti-virus software for it, which means that you need to spend a few hundred pounds on a new computer.

No anti-virus software is so good that it will protect against all viruses now and in the future. New viruses are being created everyday so anti-virus software must expand and adapt to protect against these new threats. This is accomplished through regular updates where your anti-virus software downloads new virus definitions. If you are not updating your anti-virus software, you are not as protected as you should be.

SCP 3000:what the hell are you doing on my website you must be detained.

Good idea

17 Do Not Download Anything

Not even an anti virus or the app your
computer teacher told you to download for the homework assignment.

This is a bad tip: Since, you will want to download something (and probably you will) make sure to installing on the original/official site of this application

Just make sure you're not downloading an application if you're trying to get music or something. Know what format the file you're downloading should be in and an approximate size.

Oh come on! I love downloading games and anything! I only downloading is Health and Safety things, parents made them to make their ONLY Kids safe. DO NOT TRUST HEALTH AND SAFETY APPS. APPS ARE BORING.

18 Be Aware That Anything You Post Online May Not Be Deleted

Logan Paul and the suicide forest is a prime example, he deleted it and replaced it with a terrible apology, but its YouTube and there ought to be several other copies.

AKA the dan and Phil valentines day video. Some jerk on tumblr won't take it down!

EVEN IF YOU DELETE IT, there may be many other copies elswhere

It's probably been saved to the wayback machine.

19 Use a Firewall

Comodo SW Firawall is great for home and Small business use, One fine little protector. You will learn a lot about internet when manually configure it :) J

Keep it up with the gifs of and collection Hot by Arepo by searching on google for Asa Akira and Keiran Lee makeagif


20 Don't Give Out Your Last Name

I swear to god, if you have a common last name, watch out... or good luck

Yeah my last name is rare along with my first name. But my real name is on my Instagram and Twitter.
Which is very long.

My first name, Sophia, is really common, so I think I'm fine. However, my last name is one only my family and probably a few people in Chile have, so if I put that out it would be really easy to track me.

If your last name is unique and uncommon then you shouldn't say it.

21 Get Adblock

Use uBlock Origin. Unlike Adblock Plus, it doesn't allow so-called "acceptable" ads. Now you can browse the internet safely while all the websites you visit either go broke or beg you to turn off your Adblocker.

It's great I wish it was on safari for iPad

UBlock Origin blocks EVERYTHING!

I use it, and in total its blocked 50,268 ads, and it keeps rising... 3 on this page(Sorry Top Tens)

TheTopTens lets you disable advertising without adblock. You can--actually you're a visitor so you'll just have to keep using adblock.

22 Never Give Out Any Personal Information

Agreed. I hope the bullies from the Reception Wiki Network/Outcast Network see this list. Doxxing is illegal and not acceptable.

This is the important way to keep yourself safe online. Whatever you consider to be personal, like your real name and home address, must be kept private so no one will find you.

I have a question: on a roblox free robux scam site I tested it to see if it will give me robux, and I put a fake address and other fake info. Am I safe?

Especially not your last name or address. Or email!

23 Always Block Notifications If a Site is Requesting You to Turn Them On
24 Don't Use The Dark Web

I don't

25 Be Careful of What You Download and Where From

True, it safer to download games from steam, or music from itunes or Google play, and safe to download movies as well from itunes or google play

Steam is an example of a safe site, at least as far as I know.

Steam is an example

Places such as Softonic can give you viruses. Always make sure you download from the official site and avoid downloading 'cracked' games as they almost always come bundled with malware.

26 Never Post Your Home Address

This should be obvious

Or a killer could get near you.

Obviously... that would be stupid.

Never do it.

27 Avoid Pirate Bay


That guy that commented “yay” just cracked me up. Yay,we are avoiding Pirate Bay!

28 Only Visit Trustworthy Websites

Know about the fundamentals of new websites you want to visit

But virus sites get taken down pretty fast.

Oh no If you are reading reading thi exit emidiatly!

Yes like 4chan much safe trustworthy gg

29 Disable As Much As Possible

That isn't true. Don't disable your life, security, air, etc.

When you browse the web you're looking for information or media content. Use addons and browser settings to block all content that isn't the content you want. That includes ads (adblock), scripts (noscript), plugins like flash or Java (just disable them through the browser except when you need them), and calls to 3rd party sites (firewall programs, I think noscript does this too). This can get annoying, but only until you get a good flow going, and the safety is worth it!

30 Don't Make Your Password Simple

Easy to remember, but hard to guess.

But then it's harder to remember though!

Let your password be hard

Utilize and invented word or an entire phrase that has 16 as maximum.
You can also utilize character names from books, videogames or T.V. series, as long as it's not used so much.

31 Keep Your Operating System Updated

No, I'm not upgrading if it means no more computer, I've tries windows 10 an it's as slow as frick! I'm sticking to windows 8. Update: now I just use a browser on my Nintendo Switch.

A new update sent out by Microsoft or Apple is like road map into your computer for hackers and viruses. They are openly exposes the chinks in their armor by creating these updates, so by being sure to download and install them at your first opportunity is a quick and easy way to stay safe.

Roses are red
Violets are red
Tulips are red

My garden is on fire

This should be run often or automatically be set to update daily.

32 Do Not Allow Anything To Access Your Hard Drive Unless You Know For Sure What You Are Downloading

You can get your Mac/PC messed up very bad with bugs/Trojans/viruses

33 Use Firefox

Firefox is the best browser and safest ever.

Exactly, I don't know why there's "Use chrome" in this list

I love da logo

34 Use Personal and Public Passwords

Some passwords are more sacred than others. You would never want someone to know your online banking password or the password you use to log in to Amazon where they may have your credit card number stored in order to make it easier to shop. Other password like the ones you use to log into forums or sign into sites like this one are not as important. If they get out, it's no big deal. But what if you use the same passwords for both? Then it is a big deal. Think of all the places you use a password online. Can you even remember everywhere you have used one? Now consider that the owners of each of those websites have access to the username and password you use to log into their site. If they are the shady type or, because of their less robust site, get hacked by someone, do they have the correct username and password to log into any sites where they could do some serious damage?

In a perfect world, you would have a different password for every site you log into. But ...more

Unless its for something you don't care about.

35 When Downloading Files, Don't Click Any Download Button Before Checking If It's Real or Just An Advertisement

Fake download buttons are mostly MUCH more flashy than real download buttons.

Yeah if you go to a trustworthy website and click download sometimes it will open another tab to a different website and say "download". It's a scam that if you click it it will install a virus and destroy your device

Yes. Think twice before clicking on download button.

These are usually scams so watch out for them

36 Get a Mac

I raged about how Chrome sucks, but Mac is not much better. Go with Windows! Microsoft is obviously the best to go with. Mac wastes too much time making overpriced phones and iPads each year which are never an improvement of the last version. Microsoft focuses on their hardware quality. They make the best computers and make the best gaming consoles (Xbox 360). The obvious choice is Windows!

I just voted to comment. Mac is the most insecure operating system for 5 years. It has very serious security bug bugs. Its "inpenetrable" system is vulnerable once the user starts the session and connects to the internet. It's a joke. Windows currently has a security 80 times above MAC and being Windows main focus of attention of viruses exploits etc. MAC was a great operating system, now it's just fancy.

Mac sucks, use Windows, he says. Mac sucks too but Windows isn't any better either, she says. Get Linux instead, I say.

once I had a mac and it was hacked. now I have a inspiron with windows 10 that come with mcafee. much safer, but not as simple.

37 Virus Warnings that Randomly Pop Up are Scams

Yeah I remember one of these popping up, then I checked my norton to check and it was fake.

I Always get this on my Windows 7 when on Chrome. I Check My Antivirus, It Says I'm Protected.

Apple and Microsoft don't care if your computer is infected

38 Use a VPN

The most effective tool to hide your identity from hackers, identity thieves, government agencies and other bad guys.

I should have voted on this one

Use one that's based outside of the United States, supports OpenVPN (if you use Linux), and has a no logging policy. In other words, if a VPN isn't listed on, then don't use it.

Use one that uses 256 bit AES with 2048 bit rsa, 3072 bit rsa or 4096 bit rsa.

39 Don't Add or Accept Strangers' Friend Requests on Facebook

I always declined people I didn't know when I was on facebook

40 Don't Click Adverts

Better idea: Install uBlock Origin and whitelist TheTopTens.

I once saw an advert, it said how many triangles are there? 80 something get this wrong. I counted them, but the only two answers were 9 and 10 but neither of those were right. Always check before clicking.

When I see those I leave the site

Or just block the stupid things.

41 Use Credit Cards for Online Purchases

Many people try to avoid putting anything on credit (instead option to use checks or debit cards) as a tool for keeping their spending in check. This is often a good idea but when shopping online it may not be the best advice. Credit cards typically have stronger fraud detection and prevention mechanisms in place making it harder for a thief to run up a huge charge on your card as well as making it easier for you to get your money back if the product or service you intended to purchase is not what you expected.

one time I had to send someone a check for something I bought on etsy, but they never sent me the thing I bought


42 Never Go On /b/

What's that, I'm not going to type it because I don't know what it is

Something similar happens on /pol/. Avoid these two landfills of the Internet.

I'm really curious on how many people typed that in their URL bar...

I tried it, Safari told me it was a local file that couldn't be opened. What is it, anyway?

/b/ isn't a file. It's a section on 4chan where people can post whatever they damn well please. Some of the most vile and disgusting things on the Internet can be found there.

43 Use a Password Manager
44 Get Web of Trust (WOT)

Web of Trust is designed to collect as much info on you as possible. It is spyware and you shouldn't use it.

Mywot. Com
WOT is a completely safe tool that isn't intended to break your computer, but to prevent something from doing that. You can get it for IE, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari. It keeps you safe from websites with bad intentions, and also has a parental control mode. It even comes with a color blind version if you can't see green, yellow, or red!

You should really get it. The only website it doesn't detect that you should avoid is Conduit. After all, nobody is perfect, but this gets pretty close to just that.

When you see a warning message on a site it means its full of viruses.

Helps me with everything. If the O is green, the site is safe, if the O is grey/gray, it's unknown so you should be a little careful, if the O is yellow, it might not be appropriate so make sure kids don't go there often, if the O is red, GET OUT OF THE SITE!

45 Never Click on "Scan Your PC/Computer"

Only click something that says that if it's from your trusted anti-virus software.

" Many People think that ads like : SCAN YOUR SYSTEM to Boost Speed Were Optimize System But Actually They want to access your computer.

Oh yikes, I remember falling into this trap when I was little. Never click these they are always fake, and only wish to have access to your hard drive.

The word 'scan' has actually a typo it actually says 'scam'

46 Encrypt Your Hard Drive
47 Use 4096 Bit RSA Keys for Encrypted Emails Instead of 2048
48 Use 256 Bit AES Instead of 128 or 192 Bit AES Encryption
49 Encrypt Your Emails
50 Don't Click Everything On the Screen

If something says,"allow BLANK to go through your media and pictures? " They are there for your safety.

A surefire way to avoid any danger. This is exactly what I do and it's been working perfectly for me.

Why would you do this to begin with?

Must resist the urge

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