When you are online, you mainly want to focus on the activity that brought you to the Internet, whether that is researching a topic, shopping, listening to music, or streaming video content. But make sure that you are safe and secure every time you go online. Realize that your privacy can be compromised, which can lead to some serious ramifications. Here are some telltale signs that can indicate you are not managing to maintain your privacy, as well as tips on what to do when you are dealing with these challenges.

Suspicious connection requests

Say you are already connected with someone on social media. Then they start getting additional “requests” to connect that are supposedly from you – except that you have not sent them these “requests.” The reason this is happening could be due to your privacy being compromised.

If this happens, your action items should include notifying all of your contacts on that social media platform to let them know they should ignore those suspicious connection requests. Immediately change your password to something that is difficult for hackers to figure out and break into. Also, change your password regularly from then on. And visit this page to download VPN apps and start securing your privacy online.

Messages about antivirus

Everyone should be using a reliable and constantly updated antivirus program on every computer and other devices. There are times when an antivirus program prompts the user to update the software. However, when strange and unexpected messages and warnings about antivirus updates pop up, this is a clear indicator that privacy has been compromised.

Uninstall the antivirus program that is installed on the computer. Then reinstall it. Shut down the computer and start it again. Run a scan of the computer, but first make sure you are indeed using your legitimate antivirus program to do such a scan. Whatever you do, avoid clicking on links that you are not 100% confident in going to. And as you probably already know, be extra cautious when it comes to providing your credit card information and other personal details online.

Password problems

Another sign that your privacy has been compromised involves passwords. That is, you receive a message that you are entering an incorrect password even when you double-check and know you are entering the correct password.

If this happens, immediately update your password. Also update your passwords on other websites and places where you log in. It is wise to update all passwords on a regular basis. Use a different password for every spot where you need to use a password online. Use complex combinations of uppercase and lowercase letters, numerals and special characters in passwords. And do not reuse passwords that you have used previously. If it is a challenge to keep track of and remember the many passwords you have for various websites, use a secure and reliable program that is designed for remembering passwords.

Suspicious added software

Your computer and other devices contain various software programs that you installed on them. If at some point you notice some software that is unfamiliar to you and that you do not remember installing on your device, you might be experiencing a security issue.

Immediately stop and uninstall all software programs that you did not install and that you do not want. Then double-check by looking through all software that is on your device to verify that you want all programs that are there.

Unwanted Internet link redirects

Another suspicious occurrence when you are using your device involves redirects. That is, you are suddenly and automatically redirected to a web page other than the one you are on, even though you did not intend to go to that web page.

If that happens, immediately clear the cache on your computer or other devices. Also, verify that your Internet settings and security are set up properly. Regularly clear your cache to assure that your device keeps running smoothly and securely.

These are just some of the security and privacy problems that can arise when you are online. Remember that using a VPN (virtual private network) can better safeguard your security – and thus your peace of mind – every time you are online.