The cool thing about the internet is the opportunity to learn, socialize and explore. The not so cool part is the exposure to risks and threats.
We hear about hacking and online bullying on a regular basis but we don’t think it would ever happen to us. We are wrong. It can happen to anybody with a network or internet connection.
Here are basic things you need to know in order to have a safe online experience:
Avoid Public Wifis
Using a public Wifi can easily expose your information to hackers who tap into the network. Although hackers can get into any network with loose security, it’s safest to have your own personal WiFi at home and outside.
Your Personal Information
From your address to your contact details, keep them off the internet as much as you can. It’s actually not necessary to update which district or street you live in on Facebook or Instagram.
Turn off Geo Tagging
Most smartphones have the option of tagging your location to pictures when you take them. While Geotagging is an awesome way of sharing where you are, it’s stalker ‘friendly’. Turn it off!
Avoid The Creepers
Some people love using the internet to be really creepy. They’ll Like all your pictures and leave comments wherever they can and sometimes it’ll be as brief as ‘Good’. Avoid them like you’d avoid a swarm of bees. Seriously.
If You ‘Meet’ Someone Online
Not everyone is a serial killer and stalker type of person in the online world. If you share your interests online you will easily come across nice and likable people. And you may even want to meet them. Try not to, especially if they’re much older than you are.
If You Trust Them, Then..
But maybe you’re confident they are who they say they are. Have a phone conversation first, in the presence of an adult. In fact, get your parents to speak to them before you even plan the location of your meeting.
Children, Stay Off Of Facebook
Facebook is one of the easiest networking sites to get into. All it takes is a fake email ID to show you’re old enough and you’re in. Facebook has a history (and present) of very loose privacy settings. It’s a website you don’t want to mess around on. Avoid social media until you’re mature enough to make good decisions.
Selfies And All That
Taking selfies is not as innocent as you think. Especially with tools like Photoshop in the access of every person. Someone could steal your pictures and use them as their own (identity theft) or simply put them up where they don’t belong. Be careful who you share them with.
Don’t Open Spam Emails
They often contain viruses which can wreck your PC or steal your information. Keep your curiosity aside when someone emails you about inheritance or lottery wins.
Avoid Downloading Torrents
We love watching our favorite shows but downloading them through torrents is not very safe. First of all it’s pirated and you don’t need to get involved in all that legal stuff. Second, these torrents are transferred to your PC from several other PCs and who knows what viruses they carry?
Avoid Watching Online
YouTube is pretty safe. It’s the TV/Movies websites which are leaking with viruses and bugs. It’s best to be safe.
The Awful Ads
Don’t click on ANY ads no matter how interesting it looks. Use the software called AdBlock to remove ads from your online experience. You will thank yourself and also get rid of distasteful ads.
Create a very strong password and change it every other month. Do it diligently.
Turn on Login Notifications
Most email services offer this option. It sends you an email notification whenever your account is logged into from a new location. It’s pretty useful because in the event that your email is hacked into you can (try to) change your password before it’s too late.
Strong Security Packages
Buy a strong security package which will protect your PC. However, you must remember that it will only take away some of the danger, you’re not entirely free from hackers or bullying.
Your Own Activity
It all comes down to how you use the internet. Don’t give in to scams and don’t offer your personal information or bank details to anyone on the phone or online.
Being a good online citizen should be your foremost priority. Don’t bother people and keep yourself away from the risky areas!