(also online security)
Internet security definition
Internet security is the branch of cybersecurity that deals with software, hardware, and policy measures that protect users from online threats.
Common threats to internet security
- Data interception: Criminals can use various tricks (like setting up fake free Wi-Fi hotspots at popular hangouts) to intercept unencrypted online traffic passing over a network. This intercepted data may reveal sensitive personal information, or worse — it may be altered by the criminal to mislead others (known as a man-in-the-middle attack).
- DDoS attacks: In distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, numerous devices (usually bots) send rapid-fire requests to an IP address to overwhelm and shut down the server. DDoS attacks may temporarily take users offline or disrupt the services they’re relying on.
Real internet security measures
- End-to-end encryption (E2EE): Internet security tools like virtual private networks (VPNs) encrypt your online traffic to prevent others from spying on or tampering with it. Some online shops, popular websites, and chat apps also offer E2EE for security.
- IP address obfuscation: An IP address lets other devices find one another over the internet. By hiding your IP address, you protect your virtual location and avoid becoming a target for direct DDoS attacks. You can safely change your IP address by using a VPN — anyone trying to determine your location will only see the IP address of the VPN server you’re connected to.