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Top 10 Most Common Mistakes Internet Users Make

Top 10 Most Common Mistakes Internet Users Make

Date First Published: 11th February 2024

Topic: Computer Networking

Subtopic: Network Services

Article Type: Computer Questions & Answers

Difficulty: Easy

Difficulty Level: 3/10

Learn about the top 10 most common mistakes internet users make in this article.

When using the internet, there are some common mistakes that people make over and over again, often without realising it. People are conducting more online transactions, business, and other activities on the internet each year and the world is becoming more reliant on it, which is why it is important to follow best practices and avoid common mistakes. Below are 10 avoidable mistakes made by internet users.

1. Opening Too Many Browser Tabs

There is often no limit to how many browser tabs you can open at once, but opening too many tabs at the same time can slow down your computer, reduce its performance, and even crash your web browser. Every tab and program takes up a certain amount of space on the RAM and uses up a certain amount of processing power. In addition, opening too many tabs can make it harder for you to keep track of where you left off due to the large number of tabs you need to look through, decreasing productivity. Therefore, it is recommended to close any tabs you are not currently using and not open too many at the same time.

2. Reusing Passwords Across Multiple Accounts

Reusing passwords across multiple accounts is risky because if one password gets compromised, all other accounts using that same password would also be at risk as someone might try the same username and password combination on other websites. Even if a strong password is reused across multiple accounts, if it is compromised, it can still be guessed.

3. Oversharing Information

Social media, forums, chatrooms, and other web-based services have made it very easy to overshare information, especially about personal lives. Sharing too much information can compromise your privacy and lead to identity theft. For example, oversharing can expose private information about your personal life or family matters to people that you don't know, which can make you vulnerable to users who can learn about your life and use that information against you.

4. Not Reading Terms Of Service

Blindly accepting terms of service without reading them or understanding what permissions you are granting can lead to unexpected issues. For example, you might be agreeing to grant permissions that you are not okay with or may not know what type of content is allowed on the website. Although it can be tempting to ignore the terms and conditions in order to speed up the process, you should read them before creating an account or providing any information. That way, you won't need to deal with the problems of terms that you weren't aware of later on.

Clicking on links from unknown sources can lead to virus or malware infections. Some links may redirect to websites that distribute malware, Trojan horses, spyware, or ransomware. They may also try to directly download malware onto your device. Therefore, if you see any links that look suspicious in emails or websites, do not click on them.

6. Buying From Unfamiliar Sites

Buying from unfamiliar sites is risky. Shopping sites may not be legitimate and you might be paying for a product that you never actually receive or one that was not as described on the page. It can also lead to bank fraud if you buy from an unreliable site or if the site does not use the padlock and "HTTPS" sign. Therefore, only buy from well-known sites that you know.

7. Believing Everything Online

A common mistake that internet users make is believing everything they read online. Just because something has been posted on the internet, doesn't mean that it is true. Anyone can post something online and there isn't someone that fact checks everything before it goes online.

This is why it is important to consider which source you are reading something from and whether the website is legitimate or not before you decide to trust something you have read. If something you have read on the internet looks biased, suspicious, misleading, or completely incorrect, then it probably is.

8. Using Weak Passwords

Weak passwords, such as '123', 'qwerty' or 'password' can easily be guessed, which would lead to unauthorised access to an account and data breaches. Instead, always use a strong password for all of your online accounts. This will make the password much more effective and difficult to break.

9. Trusting Public Wi-Fi

When using public Wi-Fi, such as Wi-Fi in shops, hotels, and airports, it becomes unsafe when entering sensitive information, such as financial details, as it is accessible to anyone without any restrictions and the data sent could be intercepted by unauthorised users. Using open Wi-Fi networks without a VPN can expose sensitive data to eavesdroppers.

10. Not Configuring Privacy Settings

Privacy settings are available to limit who can access your profile and what information others can see. Not configuring privacy settings on personal social media accounts can leave personal data exposed to strangers. For example, if your profile is public, anyone could look you up and there is a chance that there may be information on your profile or posts that you do not want strangers to see.


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