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.

My computer doesn't get viruses that often - Peppapigsucks

I use 5 anti virus software.. - OrangeRin

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

V 43 Comments
2 Don't Give Out Passwords

Luckily, I rarely play online games. So I'm safe - Peppapigsucks

Very important - Yoshiandaglover

This is very important, isn't it, ANNIE. - BlackAngel_ZombieBoy

Of course. That's obvious. - Misfire

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3 Switch to Google Chrome

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

Wrong! Safaris a better choice - Peppapigsucks

Switch to firefox* - namesnipe

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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.

The ILOVEYOU virus can be spread this way.

Isn't that right, TOMMY? - Peppapigsucks

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

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5 Get Linux

Shoot should've voted for this instead. - notanignog

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.

Yeet for linux oh no I shouldve voted for don't go in deep web its creepy

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. - airbb

V 14 Comments
6 Know There is No Such Thing as Free

Not even those free samples at store? No

GNU/Linux. Free and Open Source software. - shadomatrix

Ain't nothing in life is free

If the product is free, you are a payment

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7 Ignore Pop-ups

Yeah some can be dangerous - trains45

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.

Definitely. - GeneralJP

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.

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

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. - Luckys

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*

Yeah, like when you look something up on your phone and it goes to a website saying "CONGRATS! YOU WON A $1000 DOLLAR AMAZON GIFT CARD! CLICK *here* TO REDEEM IT! " Who would fall for this? - sum_fudge

In the case of Internet marketing, this is the rule to follow. - moose4life19

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9 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. - jeffo

What if you know what it is?

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10 Keep Your Operating System Updated

I always update - Yoshiandaglover

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. - myusernameisthis

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

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The Newcomers

? Use HTTPS versions of websites

HTTPS is an extension to the hypertext transfer protocol used throughout the internet. It's designed to secure the web by encrypting online communications and data, so nobody can steal your passwords/credit cards. There is an addon for Firefox/Chrome that forces sites to use HTTPS, called Smart HTTPS, which automatically connects to HTTPS when you visit a website, and if the site doesn't load, it reverts back to HTTP. A similar addon, HTTPS Everywhere, isn't recommended since it works according to rulesets. If a site known to support HTTPS isn't on the list, then it won't redirect to HTTPS, even though it supports it. - shadomatrix

The Contenders

11 Never Use Your Name for a Password

My aunt always does this. - BlackAngel_ZombieBoy

I never would - trains45

Or don't use your username as your password. - Misfire

Or just don't use "password" as your password. - sum_fudge

Unless you don't give a crap about the account and it doesn't have any information on it - myusernameisthis

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12 Don't Use Facebook

I deleted my facebook 2 years ago, I don't miss it at all, nothing but drama - trains45

Go outside at least once for gods sake

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...

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13 Use Tor and Disable JavaScript

This is good for maintaining privacy, but there's a lot more to disable than Java if your goal is to be safe, ESPECIALLY on the onion-web. See the TOR FAQ, at the tor project website if you're interested. It's a must that you understand what you're doing. - airbb

It would be a way to "How to get scammed on the internet" rather then this topic

14 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.

Duh - JazzyJulie

Yes, so true

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. - Transformers234

15 Don't Share Personal Information On a Public Site

I would never share my address, email, phone number or postal code, online - trains45


Pretty obvious. - Critideal

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.

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

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. - shadomatrix

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. - Luckys

I have seen people steal youtube videos, people pics and stuff online, and also make a fake facebook by stealing their pics - trains45

What does this have anything to do with staying safe online? - myusernameisthis

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17 Use Firefox

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

Firefox is the best browser and safest ever.

18 Keep Your Anti-Virus Updated

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


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19 Encrypt Your Hard Drive
20 Use a Firewall

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

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


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. - shadomatrix

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

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. - shadomatrix

UBlock Origin blocks EVERYTHING!

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22 Don't Give Out Your Last Name

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. - Luckys

If your name is common, such as Mohamed or Juan Pablo, it wouldn't be a problem. - TheSilverEncarnation

Duh - JazzyJulie

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. - Absolite

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23 Use a Password Manager
24 Do Not Download Anything

True, never download something that you don't know what it is - trains45

Then how am I supposed to play games? - myusernameisthis

Then how else can I get pictures of yaks from Russia? I need to download those for the best quality! D:

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.

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25 Use Two-Factor Authentication
26 Never Give Out Any Personal Information

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? - TheILikeTrainsKid

Especially not your last name or address. Or email! - Hermione_Granger220

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.

27 Don't Make Your Password Simple

But then it's harder to remember though! - myusernameisthis

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. - TheSilverEncarnation

Easy to remember, but hard to guess. - IcetailofWishClan

Let your password be hard - iamcoolanddirty

28 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.

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

It's probably been saved to the wayback machine. - shadomatrix

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

30 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 - Ohno

These are usually scams so watch out for them

Yes. Think twice before clicking on download button.

V 3 Comments
31 Get a Mac

Windows for the win! - Luckys

No stick to windows - myusernameisthis

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.

Macs are Virus-Free. I Have Used Some Macs Before.

They Haven't Been Slow... - Wobblygaming7

V 14 Comments
32 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. - shadomatrix

How can a website kill you? - myusernameisthis

Hiring a hitman, tracking where the person is and assassination - BorisRule

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

That place is illegal - JazzyJulie

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33 Only Visit Trustworthy Websites

But virus sites get taken down pretty fast. - myusernameisthis

Know about the fundamentals of new websites you want to visit

Oh no If you are reading reading thi exit emidiatly!

Yes like 4chan much safe trustworthy gg

V 1 Comment
34 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. - myusernameisthis

I Always get this on my Windows 7 when on Chrome. I Check My Antivirus, It Says I'm Protected. - Wobblygaming7

Apple and Microsoft don't care if your computer is infected - thunderstar1124

35 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 - trains45

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

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. - Memehoyminoy

36 Use a VPN

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. - shadomatrix

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

I should have voted on this one - GREYDAD

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

37 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


38 Never Go On /b/

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

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

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.

V 7 Comments
39 Never Post Your Home Address

This should be obvious - BestGrillIbuki

Never do it.

Obviously... that would be stupid. - Hermione_Granger220

40 Never Click on "Scan Your PC/Computer"

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

" 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. - RaineSage

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

41 Don't Click Everything On the Screen

Including the vote button - shadomatrix

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

V 1 Comment
42 Use 4096 Bit RSA Keys for Encrypted Emails Instead of 2048
43 Use 256 Bit AES Instead of 128 or 192 Bit AES Encryption
44 Encrypt Your Emails
45 Stop Using Internet Explorer 10 and Older

I've got a better idea: use anything BUT Explorer aka the slowest browser ever made! - myusernameisthis

This is outdated. Stop using IE altogether. In fact, I wouldn't recommend any browser by Microsoft, Google, or Apple. Firefox is the least evil popular browser, and most people would be fine using it for life, but even that browser contains lots of spyware. Ever since the webextensions apocalypse, Firefox hasn't been the same. - shadomatrix

Better yet, avoid Internet Explorer altogether - Supergameplayer

46 Stop Using Old Versions of Windows

I have a better idea: Stop using Windows altogether. - shadomatrix

why though - myusernameisthis

No I want to use XP I disagree - BlueBobYT

Windows 7 might suck, but calling it gay to say that is just offensive. - Ikura

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47 Don't Click Adverts

Better idea: Install uBlock Origin and whitelist TheTopTens. - shadomatrix

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. - FennikenFan9

When I see those I leave the site

The worse is when the ones who manage a site, try to force the removal of adblock or other similar stuffs.
"disable your adblock, we need to pay our bills" or other "excuses", or even force to pay for removing them, even if the site is supposed to be free.

the prime exemples of site that force the removal of adblock, and don't allow you to visit the site, are without surprise, AniRP or

first, they fool by saying "sign up, it's free", but nope, if you have your adblock, they hate it, to the point that you can't visit the sites without the notice "how to disable adblock"..

never seen so-called "free sites" that fool people by forcing them to accept their intrusive ads, even if you don't click on it.

i'm sorry, but if many of us use an extension or logiciel, this is not for nothing, ads are more annoying and intrusive, they appear even when they are not needed.

48 If a Site is Requesting You to Add a Chrome Extension, Don't Add It

Don't install chrome extensions, they can give you viruses - myusernameisthis

49 Don't Trust "Tips to Speed Up Your Life" Ads

I see lots of these. Some in this website! Things like "WARNING: DO NOT WATCH IN PUBLIC" with the thumbnail of an attractive girl. You think we think it's porn or something? Well, I researched if the website it advertised was a scam, it was. Just don't click any of them. "MILLIONAIRES WANT THIS VIDEO DELETED FROM THE INTERNET" Yes they do. Want to know why? No, not because it works and you become a millionaire by using it. Because it's a downright scam, and I don't know how these ads can stay on the Internet.

When you enter a website, such as WhatCulture, you get A LOT of ads. Though sometimes these ads CAN be trustworthy, do not click on them. If you really want to go on them, exit your browser and shut down all of your tabs, leave, get antivirus, then enter them by typing into the browser, not entering the same site and clicking on the ad.

Hey! I found an ad in this website! - SwampertBABY

We’re looking at you, 5 Minute Crafts channel. WHO EVEN SHOWERS WITH WATERMELON JUICE?

50 Avoid Pirate Bay


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

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Top Remixes (19)

1. Get Linux
2. Keep Your Operating System Updated
3. Use Tor and Disable JavaScript
1. Use Anti-virus Software
2. Keep Your Anti-Virus Updated
3. If It Sounds Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is.
1. Be Careful of What You Download and Where From
2. When Downloading Files, Don't Click Any Download Button Before Checking If It's Real or Just An Advertisement
3. Virus Warnings that Randomly Pop Up are Scams

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