How to read digital books securely

Many of us love the experience of curling up with a book to learn something new or explore a fantasy world. But the world of books is evolving with technology. Many of us now read online through devices like e-readers and tablets, as well as through web browsers. Anytime we are online, even to read, we’re exposed to cyber threats. Here’s how to ensure you’re staying cyber safe while you navigate the wonderful world of digital books.

A person giving a thumbs up while holding an e-reader, with a stack of books next to them

Wi-Fi networks

E-readers and tablets can be hacked like any other smart device connected to the internet. Cyber criminals can also use your smart devices to attack other devices on your Wi-Fi network.

Be sure to change the default name and password of your Wi-Fi network to something equally unique. This will help protect the device from being accessed maliciously by others.

Place your router as close to the center of your house as possible and set your network to private to discourage people from trying to access your Wi-Fi from outside of your home. Use a virtual private network (VPN) on your network to keep sensitive information and payment transactions hidden from potential vulnerabilities. By following these steps, you can prevent your Wi-Fi from being infiltrated.

Software updates

Software updates help your devices run faster and repair security vulnerabilities so you can enjoy your digital read without hiccups. It’s important to enable automatic updates whenever they’re available. If you can’t enable automatic updates on your device, always install them as soon as your device asks you to.

If your phones and tablets allow it, install anti-virus software and make sure it’s up-to-date. It will help detect malware on your device and remove it quickly.

Malicious books and book apps

There are millions of digital books out there, but not all of them are safe to download. Cyber criminals create false or malicious digital books to trick you into downloading dangerous files. Sometimes, cyber criminals impersonate legitimate apps  you’d use to download books. When you download books or apps onto your device, it could install malware or ransomware.

Always download books or apps from the official e-book or app store on your device. Never download them through third-party services that are not verified. Read the ratings and reviews on apps before downloading to be aware of any potential vulnerabilities. If a book or app seems suspicious in any way, like a ‘book’ app with no reviews, trust your instincts and don’t download it.

If cyber criminals access your device, they can also gain access to the attached account. To prevent this, always enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) where available. MFA adds an extra layer of security to all your accounts and prevents unauthorized logins, even if someone steals your password.


Reading is a great hobby and allows us to learn more about the world around us. You can also borrow digital books from the library, where you can search and download books online through their cloud services. Digital books and e-reading devices can make reading more accessible, but they can also present new cyber threats. By following these tips, you can be cyber safe while diving into your latest read.

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