The advent of the internet has drastically transformed our day-to-day lives, and, for the most part, the better. However, since the vast internet universe has many dark corners, pitfalls and traps, its many users would be foolish to not employ internet security measures before surfing.

So what exactly is internet security? And how can it be utilized to safeguard our computers, tablets and smartphones? Internet security consists of two key elements, which, when married together, create a steely defense against cyber scammers and crooks.

Firstly, robust, effective antivirus software should be installed and running whenever a user is online, whether they’re making a purchase or just casually surfing. While it’s cynical to think of the internet as an ominous place where bad things always happen, it remains true that bad things do, can, and have. So, with that in mind, the best policy is to arm your computer or device with an internet security suite.

But it’s not enough to simply wave a piece of software at online threats; you also need to have your wits about you at all times. After all, if you can prevent bad things from happening – such as visiting a malicious site or downloading a malevolent file – before they happen, wouldn’t that be a whole lot better? Of course!

So, internet security is just as much about remaining vigilant, responsible and alert as it is being equipped with capable antivirus. For example, always think twice before clicking on flashy ads that could lead to unsavoury sites, and when opening email attachments from suspicious emails.

Finally, here’s a bit of invaluable advice. Whenever making an online payment, ensure that the start of the address bar reads ‘https’, instead of just ‘http’. The extra ‘s’ stands for secure, which adds increased protection for your transactions over standard ‘http’ websites. If you visit a ‘http’ site, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily dodgy – just that monetary transactions are probably best avoided.

Get protected. Be smart. And be safe!