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As more people spend time online than ever before, threats on the Internet increase. From cyber criminals and hackers to stalkers, many threat actors are prowling the information superhighway. That’s why you must avoid the following mistakes to preserve your online security and privacy:

1. Don’t Rely on Basic Antivirus Software

Although basic antivirus software is competent at defending your computer from old-school viruses, it’s not enough to stop emerging malware threats. For example, some experts claim that Windows Security provides inadequate defense against ransomware. What’s more, Windows Security doesn’t protect third-party web browsers like Google Chrome by default, which is unfortunate because countless cyber attacks target web browsers every day.

It would help if you had advanced cybersecurity software that’s proactive and shields your computer from viruses, worms, adware, spyware, stalkerware, keyloggers, Trojan horse attacks, and other kinds of malware. If you suspect that your computer is compromised, then remove malicious software on your computer with advanced antivirus software that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify threats with behavior-based technology.

2. Don’t Use Free Antivirus Software

While it’s tempting to use free antivirus software to save a few bucks, would you put low-quality locks on your front door, backdoor, and garage? It’s a good idea to steer clear of free cybersecurity tools. After all, PCMag and Motherboard caught one of the world’s most popular free antivirus programs spying on users in a joint investigation.

If an antivirus program is acting like malware, then how can it be trusted? Instead, subscribe to a high-quality, proactive anti-malware program that refuses to log your data and provides 24/7 protection against malicious software.

3. Don’t Forget to Update Your Operating System

Whether you use Windows or Mac, you must update your operating system regularly. Both Microsoft and Apple periodically release patches to plug security holes in their software. Hackers and other threat actors can use such holes to pierce your computer’s defenses and breach your security.

Remember, Macs get viruses too. According to the 2020 State of Malware Report, malware threats against Macs outpaced Windows by 2:1 in 2019. In fact, the volume of Mac threats increased year-over-year by more than 400 percent.

You don’t have to check for updates for your operating system manually. You can set your Windows computer or Mac to keep your system and your essential programs updated automatically.

4. Don’t Overshare on Social Media

Cyber criminals can be pretty patient. They may take months to study your social media pages to design the perfect dictionary attack against your financial, social, or email attacks and hack your passwords. Avoid sharing personal information online that can be used against you. Don’t accept friend requests from strangers. After all, they may have bad intentions.

5. Don’t Use Weak Passwords

Your passwords are the keys to your digital life. Use a password manager to set sophisticated passwords that are nearly impossible to hack. Nowadays, you don’t even have to download a password manager because your web browser is probably equipped with one.

These are five mistakes you must avoid to protect your security and privacy on the Internet. Always use the best cybersecurity tools and exercise caution to enjoy your life in cyberspace.