The internet is a wild and dangerous place if you step onto its streets without the proper safety precautions set in place. Staying safe online is no easy task, simply because there is so much to watch out for! Many people look at the internet like it is some sort of digital playground where you can dance around without concern. The internet is a place for cat pictures, funny videos, and status updates–right? Well, while that isn’t wrong it still isn’t’ quite on the nose. The internet is more akin to the Wild West of old. It is a teeming frontier full of profit, prospects, and the ever present dangers of outlaws. Only these outlaws are almost invisible and they can ruin your life even after they leave you alone.
What are my main concerns on the internet?
When it comes to going on the internet you really have to ready yourself for a variety of different potential problems. Being that the internet is full of people, and people are known to be advantageous jerks, there are certain issues that tend to crop up more than others. Let’s look at some of the most common ways your safety will be jeopardized on the internet.
- Identity Theft
One of the most common ways that you will lose sense of safety on the internet is by giving up your personal information. There are many different websites on the internet that are geared specifically toward separating your private data from your personal computer. This data is then re-appropriated in order to steal using your identity as a shield. Your identity can be stolen via insecure websites, hackers, scammers, and even computer viruses.
Everyone has heard of a computer virus because they are one of the most common ways that your computer can turn into a nice shiny paperweight. Viruses are typically contracted much like they are in real life: by exposure. Downloading foreign software or visiting strange web pages is a great way to brick your personal computer.
- Harassment and Bullying
The internet has opened new doors in the social stratosphere and it is severely changing the way that people interact. Staying safe on the internet can be difficult so long as it doesn’t follow you home. However, cyber bullying and online harassment have become an epidemic on the internet. As soon as your identity gets revealed you become an open target to bullies all over the world. There is a specific name for this and it is called ‘doxxing’. Doxxing means that a previously anonymous user has become unveiled and are being attacked because of it.
If you want to know how to stay safe on the internet then you have come to the right place. There are tips for staying safe online all over the place and many of them are good. We’ve decided to pick out our best ways to stay safe on the internet, along with a few stay safe quotes, to help people who need to know. Keep reading for our list!
- Learn how to stay safe on Facebook!
Social media can be one of the easiest ways for someone to attack your safety on the internet. There are websites out there that are dedicated to stealing your personal information. They can come via fake emails, URLs designated to ‘phish’, or even fake ‘friend’ profiles imploring you to download something. Pay attention on your social media and you will be fine.
- Create strong passwords!
One key to maintaining account security online is to use different, equally strong, passwords on all of your different websites. Don’t use the same password for more than one account because then one breach would make them all vulnerable.
- Update your security software!
Your front line of defense on the internet is your well informed mind. Your second line of defense involves your security software. Keep your anti-virus software up to date to combat the latest viruses.
If you are on the internet in your home then you need to make sure that your connection is secured. Don’t leave your WiFi without a password. If your WiFi is unprotected then anyone can log on and access you.
- Be wary of public internet!
It’s easy to forget that you need to be safe on the internet even when you aren’t at home. So be careful when you connect to public hot spots. Don’t send secure documents during this time and refuse to download anything.
- Enable two-step security!
An easy way to keep your personal information secure is to enable two step security on your accounts. This security method requires you to verify your log in attempt via cell phone. This way your accounts will always be safe so long as nobody has your phone.
- Don’t download anything (unless you know what it is)!
The most savvy way that people gain access to victims computers is by getting them to download something dangerous to their computer. Trojans, viruses, and malware all are popular weapons for hackers. Avoid downloading unknown files!
- Back up your private information offline!
If you have a work computer or a hard drive full of important information you should get into the habit of backing it up on a hard drive that never goes online. This way even if your main system goes down you will have a protected back up.
- Retain your privacy!
Some people are naive when it comes to using the internet. They’ll use their real names, pictures, and information on various websites and message boards. Don’t do this! Make a ‘user name’ and avoid using your own pictures online. This way you will never get linked to your real life identity and will thus never have to worry about doxxing.
Ask yourself: Should I be here?
The internet is infinitely interesting and obviously dangerous. Many of the most inherent dangers come from users forgetting themselves. It is easy to get lost on the internet so try and make a habit of asking yourself, “Should I really be here?” If the answer is no then log off immediately!