We can take solace in the fact that most individuals on the worldwide web are sincerely searching for or offering genuine services and products. However, it is also a very unfortunate truth that the online global community is regularly prowled by unscrupulous fraudsters, ruthless criminals, and worst of all, severely dangerous, deadly psychopaths.
It is therefore critical to be extremely vigilant, careful and safety-wise when online, as not everyone is as they say they are. Here are Internet safety tips to help you avoid getting into trouble online.
1. Limit Personal Information and Keep it Professional
Potential employers or customers do not need to know your personal relationship status or your physical home address. They do need info pertaining to your expertise and professional background, and how to get in touch with you. You wouldn’t give personal information out to strangers on the street, so it makes sense not to give out your personal info to people online.
2. Be Careful What You Post
Any comment, image or video clip you post online may stay there forever because removing the original does not remove any copies made by other people. There is no way for you to retract a comment you wish you hadn’t made, or delete that selfie you took incorrectly. Don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want your mom or a potential employer to see.
3. Be Cautious of People You Meet Online
People you meet online are not always who they say they are. In fact, they may not even be real. It was reported that fake social media profiles is a very effective method for hackers to lure internet users to let their guard down. Be as vigilant and level-headed online as you are offline.
4. Be Serious about Your Privacy Settings
Marketers love to know as much about you as possible, and the same goes for internet hackers. Both can gather substantial amounts of info about you from your browsing and social media usage. Take charge of your information by using the safety settings of the websites you frequent. Ensure you have enabled these privacy safeguards, and keep them enabled.
5. Practice Safe Browsing
Dangerous sites, also known as ‘malware’, can damage your computer, or can cause problems when you’re browsing. Be careful not to download harmful software from unsecure sites. Vicious software can also be disguised as an app, such as a game. Cybercriminals use all types of tactics as bait such as loud and shocking content. They know people are often attracted by suspicious content and may cause them to ignore the red flags. This could expose personal information or cause havoc on your device with infected software. Safely sidestep suspicious sites by not clicking on them, and only visit and download from trusted sited. And always keep your antivirus program up to date as it can detect and remove most malware.
6. Use Only Secure Sites for Online Purchases
When making an online purchase, you need to provide your credit card or bank account details. This is exactly what cybercriminals want most. Only provide this info to sites that have secure, encrypted connections. You can identify secure sites by making sure the address starts with https: (the S stands for secure) rather than just http: They may also be marked by a padlock icon next to the address bar.