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.

Whoever says you shouldn't is a liar so yes, use this - RealUprising

V 36 Comments
2 Switch to Google Chrome

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.

I'm on it right now! in fact, I have no virus protection and have been using google chrome for 5 months since then, and my computer is quite safe. try it.

I love using it cause its fast, new and of course SAFE - decorulez97

I’m on Firefox

V 51 Comments
3 Don't Give Out Passwords

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. - Transformers234

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

Of course.

V 24 Comments
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.

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... - RaineSage

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. - FallenKingdom

Don't Click Links In E-mails!

V 11 Comments
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.

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. - AllAboutLists

I got this this thing on my screen where it said I won an iPhone 10 and I had to enter in all my personal information to a non-secure website to "win." What a fake.

*plays the game*
*tries to get a new power up or outfit or whatever*
*? * - sum_fudge

V 30 Comments
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.

If you do you might break something.

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

When I had an account on this, There would often be an ad on the side that said, This is not a joke! You are one of our lucky winners to recieve an R13 fashion voucher. (CLICK HERE)

Well, it was something like that.

V 3 Comments
7 If It Sounds Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is.

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*

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

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

Use your logic

V 5 Comments
8 Never Use Your Name for a Password

But what if nobody knows your name? - CoolCat999

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

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

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

V 2 Comments
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?

V 3 Comments
10 Don't Use Facebook

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. - cosmo

I don't like how I have to give so much info to the website, I only use this site to connect with long distance family however, so I only go on once every 3-5 days - Phillip873

Scammers are very active on Facebook. - goranko

V 6 Comments

The Contenders

11 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. - Transformers234

Yes, so true

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

You can delete something on the internet, but that does not change the fact everyone has probaly saw it - 170253

People can screenshot things and pass it around the Web. - ethanmeinster

Yeah... it could be screenshotted and passed around for everyone to see. Like, if you think you’re private messaging someone, you can’t trust them. They could screenshot it and show their friends. - Hermione_Granger220

13 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.

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

This is not just to stay safe online, but in real life as well. If people know personal details about you, they may feel the need to target you. Probably not violently, but hacking, viruses and whatnot.

And if you’re being pressured to, report it to the site and a trusted authority figure (if you are a kid).

V 17 Comments
14 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


V 1 Comment
15 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. - airbb

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

Linux DOES get viruses, but in order developers make their won Linux distro even more secure - BorisRule

V 12 Comments
16 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


17 Don't Give Out Your Last Name

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

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

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

Obviously... - Hermione_Granger220

V 2 Comments
18 Get Adblock

UBlock Origin blocks EVERYTHING!

VERY VERY NICE - oldfashionedmickeymousecol1995

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

You want AdBlockPlus. Better for free.

19 Do Not Download Anything

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.

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

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. - SwampertBABY

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

V 6 Comments
20 Don't Make Your Password Simple

Easy to remember, but hard to guess. - IcetailofWishClan

Let your password be hard - iamcoolanddirty

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

21 Keep Your Operating System Updated

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. - dwconcepts

Some updates are fake filled with malwares - BorisRule

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

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

23 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.

24 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! - codninjasword40

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. - Ohno

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

They Haven't Been Slow... - Wobblygaming7

V 11 Comments
25 Only Visit Trustworthy Websites

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

Hello there! are you having problems with not trusting websites? go to to get free money! - rankist

26 Don't go to the deep web

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. - TheSilverEncarnation

27 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


28 Never Go On /b/

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

Haha, did you actually type "/b/" into the address bar? - airbb

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.

4chan is a wild place, try to avoid it. - VeryPissedOffCinnabon

V 5 Comments
29 Get Web of Trust (WOT)

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!



30 Never Give Out Any Personal Information

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.

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

31 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 - GREYDAD

32 Never Click on "Scan Your PC/Computer"

" 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'

33 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

Yes. Think twice before clicking on download button.

These are usually scams so watch out for them

V 3 Comments
34 Don't Click Everything On the Screen

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

But I click on this Am I have virs nao?

35 Stop Using Internet Explorer 10 and Older

Better yet, avoid Internet Explorer altogether - Supergameplayer

36 Use a Proxy

Still don't get what's a proxy :/

37 Don't Click Adverts

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.

38 Stop Using Old Versions of Windows

Do not use Windows Vista or older versions of Windows if you are going to use the computer for web surfing. Those versions are very vulnerable to viruses.

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

Windows 7 Is gay.

No I want to use XP I disagree - BlueBobYT

39 Virus Warnings that Randomly Pop Up are Scams

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


40 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?

41 Avoid Pirate Bay


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

42 Don't Add or Accept Strangers' Friend Requests on Facebook
43 Never Post Your Home Address

Obviously... that would be stupid. - Hermione_Granger220

Never do it.

44 Know There's Fake Antivirus

Rouge Software at it's best. Fake antivirus such as Spysheriff are very dangerours. - BorisRule

45 Use Firefox

Firefox is the best browser and safest ever.

46 Use TOR and disable Java on TOR

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

47 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! - airbb

48 Don't Send Pictures Of Yourself

Remember, nothing is ever completely taken off of the Internet even if you press delete. Everyone has a digital foot print inside their devices, which anyone, including law enforcement, can trace.

I think should avoid sending pics of yourself until you're a teen. And I don't think people should post pics of when they were babies or toddlers - StayAlive

49 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

50 Be Careful of What You Download and Where From

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

PSearch List

Related Lists

Top 10 Tips for Staying Financially Sound Top 10 Tips for Having a Safe Summer Top Ten Safe Food Handling Tips Tips to Stay Safe on Roblox Best Songs on George Ezra's Staying at Tamara's

List Stats

1,000 votes
52 listings
8 years, 184 days old

Top Remixes (16)

1. Use Anti-virus Software
2. Keep Your Anti-Virus Updated
3. If It Sounds Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is.
1. Know There is No Such Thing as Free
2. Don't Give Out Passwords
3. Ignore Pop-ups
1. Don't Click Links In E-mails
2. Don't Give Out Passwords
3. Switch to Google Chrome

View All 16

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.