Given the times, internet safety is something we must talk about. No matter how old or young you are, it’s important you’re aware of the dangers of accessing the internet. In this article, we’ll discuss 9 facts about the safeties of online. Things that every internet user should know. This may include things such as, using complex passwords, to thinking before you click on links.
Below you will find those 9 vital tips, so please do continue reading:
Table of Contents
1. Don’t Give Away your Personal Information
Whether it’s at the request of someone or not, it’s very important that you keep all your personal affix to yourself. If you have a child, then some websites may ask him/her to enter personal information, such as addresses, names and age. Before they go about filling anything in, it’s important that they ask someone older than themselves to have a look at the site. Hackers are on the prowl, seeking this kind of information to carry out their attacks.
2. Keep Your Passwords Confidential
Your passwords are for you, and you alone. They are integral to any and all accounts you may have.
Make sure any password you create is difficult to guess, you can do this, by including special characters, numbers, and both upper and lowercase letters.
Never make the mistake of giving your password to anyone, online. If you’re a youngster, then you should definitely consider sharing it with your parents or guardians.
3. Hooking Up With People Offline
Sometimes relationships formed in cyberspace can develop into actual offline interactions. With the advent of online dating, this has led to millions of people hooking up in real life; making the internet an ideal place to meet people from all walks of live.
However, despite the many positives, it’s very crucial that you take all the necessary precautions when opting to meet someone in real life for the first time.
The following things should be deployed:
- When meeting, arrange to have the meetup in a public place, such as a restaurant or café.
- Make sure, at least one person, close to you, is aware that you’re meeting someone, where you plan to meet them, and the time it’s set to take place. You should also give them updates, to assure them you’re okay.
- Don’t let anyone pressure you into doing anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.
- If there’s something about the person that you don’t like, then you should refrain from meeting them.
- If you can, consider inviting a family member or friend, at least for the first meet up.
- If things aren’t going to your liking, consider asking for help, then and there.
4. The Internet Is Eternal
Before posting anything online, whether it be a message or an image, you should ask yourself, if you feel comfortable with the whole world seeing it. In this current age of cloud storage, social media messaging and more, this means, anything you write, is virtually there for life. It’s important for you to know that deleting old posts or clearing your browser history, doesn’t necessarily mean all your actions have been erased. It’s important that for the end user, you are aware that your actions online have consequences, whether good or bad.
5. Install All Updates Right Away
When your security software has a new update available, it will notify you. Not heeding this notification, by updating straight away, is akin to staying in your home while your fire alarm rings.
While, staying 100% safe online is not possible, there are things you can do to mitigate risk, such as install internet security software. Anyone accessing your computer, should know that any and all security updates should be taken seriously. Always ensure that any apps running on your system, along with the operating system itself are up-to-date, as many of these updates include security loopholes – designed to patch up vulnerabilities that hackers would otherwise exploit.
6. Avoid Scams Online
When surfing the internet, it’s very important that you are mindful of the many pitfalls.
First thing to remember is that, if anything sounds too good to be true, then it most certainly is.
Knowing whether something is genuine or not is the hardest thing. If you can’t make that determination by yourself, then you should get a second opinion, whether from a friend, family member etc.
Some scams for you to look out for, include:
- Unsolicited emails, asking you to click on a link you’re unfamiliar with – Such emails may state that you’ve won the lottery or that the information for your TV licence is outdated and must be renewed.
- Money requests – They may ask you to transfer you money into a different account. Never listen to do directives of such emails, instead, get in contact with your bank.
7. Balance Things Out, For Your Health
There’s no doubt that the internet is a very addictive place, for this reason, you want to keep a healthy balance between both the online and offline worlds.
You don’t want to fall into the trap of spending countless hours looking at Instagram or Facebook posts, when you could be spending that time actually meeting people in real life.
Spend some time, every day, doing something that, doesn’t in any way involve cyberspace, such as a hobby or sport. Maybe visit your local community centre or visit the local park.
8. Online Games Cost money
Playing various online games, can be very enjoyable, however, it’s important that we’re careful while doing so.
These games may be on your mobile phone, computer or tablet.
Sometimes while playing the game, they may ask that you purchase something for one reason or the other.
The dangers of this is that you can get caught in a money web, where you are spending a ton of money, for nothing really tangible.
9. The Internet Isn’t Always Truthful
The reality is, a lot of the net isn’t true.
A lot of websites have a habit of spreading false information or exaggerations. These are referred to as “fake news” or “clickbait”, just to encourage people to click on them.
Never assume that anything you read online is 100% the truth, instead browse around and scout for many different sources.
You should also bear that in mind, when a friend or family member shares something with you. It’s very much a possibility that, such information is also fake.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website https://www.compuchenna.co.uk.