The internet plays an important role in today’s society. It helps us connect with friends and family, find jobs, and even find love. But the internet can be a tool for scammers to take advantage of others. Luckily, there are some preventative steps you can take to keep yourself and your family safe online. We’ll discuss some of them today.
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Remember to Log Out of Terminals When You’re Done Using Them (Yes, Even at Home)
Leaving your accounts logged in on public and private computers can provide opportunities for people to access your personal information. Keep this information safe by remembering to log out of your accounts when you’ve finished with them.
Choose Strong Passwords
Choosing a good, strong password will make it harder for anyone trying to steal your personal information to access your accounts. Try to use passwords that incorporate numbers, capital letters, and special characters that make it hard to guess.
Don’t Share Your Password with Anyone
Just like it’s important to choose a strong password, you should also remember never to share your password with anyone. Passwords should be 100% private.
Don’t Open Attachments from People You Don’t Know
Email attachments can contain viruses that can affect the safety of your computer. If you get an email with an attachment from an address you don’t recognize, don’t open it. Be on the lookout for claims like “free vacation.” And double check the email address to make sure it’s from someone you know before opening attachments.
Don’t Send Money or Bank Account Information to People You Don’t Know
If someone requests that you send them money via bank transfer or money wire, and you’ve never met them in person, that’s a red flag. Plenty of scammers use the internet and pretend to be someone they’re not to get people to send money. If you don’t know the person requesting money personally, and you’ve never met them in person, don’t send them money.
Install Antivirus Software
Antivirus software is software that keeps your computer safe from viruses. They will keep an eye out for viruses and worms trying to infect your computer, and will disable them. Always remember to keep this software updated, as these updates will improve your computer’s safety against new viruses and worms.
Don’t Give Out Personal Information Like Address, Phone Number etc.
You wouldn’t hand out this personal information to strangers you pass on the street, so don’t give it out to strangers on the internet either! Keep your personal information private, and never give any of it to someone you don’t know personally.
Be Careful What You Post and Send
Be mindful about posting pictures or comments. While you yourself can delete anything compromising that you don’t want others to see, you can’t delete the copies other people have made.
The same is true for any photos you send. Don’t send compromising pictures of yourself, explicit or otherwise. Once they’re on the internet, you might not be able to take them back.
Remember also that many prospective employers will take a look at your social media. So don’t post anything you wouldn’t want them to see.
Be Careful Who You Meet Online
Not everyone on the internet is who they claim to be. Google Image Search has made it easier than ever for scammers to use other people’s photos to create false identities. These scammers will use their profiles usually to scam money off of you.
Scammers aren’t the only people using the internet for nefarious purposes. Predators often create fake online personas to lure people to them.
Parents, always monitor your child’s internet use. Set clear boundaries with your children, and remind them not to trust everything they see online. If your child wants to meet with someone they met online look up the person’s profile and check that they are a real person. And don’t let your child meet them alone. Go with them yourself.
Don’t Download Anything Unless You Know the Source Is Secure
Malware is a type of program that infects your computer, and could potentially steal personal information. A lot of malware comes from downloads online. They can come in many forms, including apps that your download onto your computer or phone.
Before downloading anything, make sure it’s from a secure website, and from a source that you trust.
There internet is an amazing tool. Since its creation, it’s changed the way we interact with others, and the world around us.
But it’s important to remember that there are people online who aren’t just using the internet to form connections and share information. It’s important to be aware when you’re online, and looking out for potential scammers, predators, or anyone looking to steal your personal information.
As you would in the real world, remember to stay alert and stay safe online.
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