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Too many people fail to take the subject of online Internet safety and security seriously in advance of a catastrophe. That’s a shame, because taking basic, simple precautions now can pay big dividends in the future. People who’ve lost everything to a hard drive failure always say the same thing: “I knew I was supposed to back up my files, I just never got around to it.”

Then, there are the folks who think they are doing the right things to protect themselves, based on some sketchy things they read on the Internet, or advice from a know-it-all relative or friend. I’ve worked with many people who thought that the simple act of plugging an external hard drive into their computer meant their files were automatically being backed up. Others think all it takes to protect a computer on the Internet is installing an antivirus program; if only it were true.

As part of the online safety class I teach called, “Fight the Internet Bad Guys and Win!” I have folks take a quiz to test their safety and security knowledge. There are many online quizzes like mine, and I’d like to share some with you.

“Learn the Net” provides a simple, entry-level quiz at learnthenet.com/test-yourself/security-smart that can give anyone a basic idea of what they do and don’t know.

The quiz from Bright Hub, found at brighthub.com/internet/security-privacy/articles/124668.aspx is slightly more advanced and full of variety. Do you know what “malware” is? Take this quiz and find out.

The security experts at OpenDNS are hosting a “Phishing Quiz,” asking the question, “Think you can Outsmart Internet Scammers?” This is a great test everyone should take. Head over to www.opendns.com/phishing-quiz and see if you’re up to the challenge.

Covering smartphones and mobile devices, Knowthe net also has a great test about mobile security at inthedark.knowthenet.org.uk. Some people will be shocked to learn that smartphones are nothing more than computers that also happen to make phone calls, and need the same Internet protections as their bigger laptop and desktop siblings.

The United States Department of Homeland Security has a fun game you can play called “Invasion of the Wireless Hackers” at onguardonline.gov/media/game-0006-invasion-wireless-hackers. In the game, you learn to defeat hackers trying to break into your wireless network by setting up proper safety measures. In some ways, it’s a little more sophisticated than your basic “what is a firewall” quiz, but fun, nonetheless.

Online quiz makers ProProfs has a good quiz on about online security and privacy at proprofs.com/quiz-school/story.php?title=quiz-on-online-security-and-privacy-can-you-pass. Some high-quality, in-depth ideas are presented here in an understandable format.

Internet safety and security are becoming more important every day. Take some of these online quizzes to learn where you need to improve.