Cybercrime is a global phenomenon and we are not new to it. But in the recent past, we have witnessed more than several cases where women have been targets of cyber criminal activities and cyber threats. Not only that, but some of these have led to grave and permanent consequences for the victim.
Victimizing women in the cyber world is taking its toll, it’s high time that we as women safeguard and protect our own selves. We’ve collected below some safety measures that women themselves can follow and keep safe, at least upto some extent.
Choose Your Username Carefully
Choose your email aliases, chatroom names, user names and such carefully, keeping in mind that they don’t reveal too much about you. Choose a name that won’t aid someone in identifying who you are. Don’t include your actual name, phone number DOB or address, either personal or work. Also try to avoid using names that may sound provocative and flirtatious in order to avoid unwanted attention.
Educate People Around You
In order to be completely sure, you need to sit down and address the issue with your friends, family and beloved ones. Set up some rules and regulation among yourselves. Talk about what you will be sharing publicly and privately and with whom you would be sharing it.
Children and teenagers need special counselling since they can easily be lured by online predators and friends as well. Tell them about what they should be sharing and with whom, what can get them in trouble and how badly it might result.
Watch Out for Emails
Think thrice before clicking you might receive in emails even if they appear to be from a trustable source. Such emails are usually spoofed and sent solely for the purpose of breaking into your PC.
Never respond to emails that require you to enter your account information or bank credentials. These emails are spams and steal information very conveniently by making the user believe that it is from their bank or another business they fairly know about. Always remember no reputable organizations will never use emails to ask for or access such sensitive information.
If you really have to click a link in your email, don’t just click on it. Search for it through a search engine instead. Also don’t forward any ‘chain’ emails. Such emails are purposed for recording as many email accounts as they land into and all the information they store.
You are familiar with these aren’t you? Usually these come in the form of free games, free softwares or some ‘deals’. If you have ever planned on taking one, they did sound too good to be true didn’t they? Which is the truth actually. In fact these are aimed at achieving only one thing: your personal information so that they can sell it to interested parties. Also these are usually packed with malware and spyware to pollute your computer. Now that, is a great ‘deal’ isn’t it?
Surveys and quizzes about what game character are you and what field you should choose based on your aptitude are likewise. These safe-looking marketing tools are designed for the same purpose. To collect your information and sell it to anyone interested. The most basic surveys can put together a great deal of information about people. And you are not a huge fan of spam and malware are you? Therefore avoid them as much as possible. Or skip them entirely.
If you are a credit card user, check in for your credit report occasionally. You can also do this for your spouse and children. This may help you in spotting any inaccuracies or frauds that may be potentially and financially threatening in the future. A recent report reveal that most of the identity thefts are aimed at stealing children’s identities.
Another way you can monitor your credit card is get the service from your service provider. This service will prompt you whenever an activity is performed on your credit card, hereby eliminating the risk of any illegal activity being performed.
Go with Your Instinct
To wrap it all up, if ever, you come across anything that doesn’t sound or seem ‘right’, either online or offline, trust your instinct. Because more often than not, it is right. Do what you feel is right and remember you don’t have to explain your actions to anyone for any reason.