Like everyone else, women also benefit from using technology for various purposes including networking, socializing, professional or personal activities etc. Cybercrime victimization continues to remain underrated for being a barrier in their way. More often than not, women outnumber men in surveys and studies on cybercrime victimization.
But worry not, we’ve got your back. Following is a checklist as to how you can steer clear of any digital problems and be safe on the Internet.
Defend your PC
You are familiar with this one right? Get your PC the, latest, greatest antivirus, spyware, malware protection, TODAY! Not just that, keep them up-to-date and check in with them every once in awhile just like you’d do your babysitter.
A study reveals that an unprotected computer can get infected with virus in a time as short as four mins. Which will consequently place you at a greater risk of being victimised You don’t want that do you?
Use STRONG/Different Passwords
A strong password isn’t hard to remember. It’s hard to guess. Infact it can actually be fun and will off in better security. A good strong password is a mixture of alphabets, small-big caps, numbers, symbols and acronyms.
Use different password for all your logins. Your computer login, your social network login, your online bank login, your email login and your workplace login.
Never include any personal information such as your DOB, your spouse’s name, your favourite holiday destination or your pet. Personal information is usually guessable. Also avoid abbreviations, words from a dictionary or anything that occurs in a sequence.
Use phrases, quotations or acronyms as your password. That too, not in the conventional or acceptable format, Invent our own semantics. Another trick is draw passwords on your keyboard. For example, “w”, “d”, “v”, “y”,”n”, “k”, “o” makes a “W” figure. Now that sounds cool? Told ya it was fun.
Socialize by all means but it safer if you socialize with people you know i-e, your family and friends. Visiting public chat rooms or public blogs can be risky.
Think thrice before posting or sharing anything online. Because this increases the chance of you, your family, friends or other personal information being identified if its posted on whitepages, public blogs, job sites or any other place online accessible by everyone. Personal information may include your name, DOB, personal/workplace address, and personal photos. Therefore watchout.
Never Setup a Personal Meeting with a Stranger
Always remember, people you meet online might never tell you who they really are. And you on the other hand can never guess. We as women have trouble shaming someone outright and hesitate from saying no and offending someone. BUT, never set up for a personal meeting with anyone you don’t know in person already.
Just the other day it was in the news that a post-grad girl/woman went to meet a ‘friend’ she met on Facebook. This ‘friend’ took her hostage, raped her and pushed her off a third-story plaza. The victim died on-spot.
Therefore, please never go to meet some stranger all by yourself. If it’s really necessary, take a friend, sibling, family member or anyone you trust, along you.
Report Anything Fishy Immediately
It not unusual to get bullied online. There are also instances of insulting, shaming or calling out people online. No one, absolutely no one has the right to do such a thing to anyone else. If you yourself, or witness someone else in such a situation, report it immediately to the respective website. This very feature exists to control online rash behaviors, illegal activities or potentially harmful situations i-e online predators. If the need be, don’t hesitate to contact your nearest law enforcement office.
Reevaluate your Online Self
Housekeeping is always important, even if it’s online. Make a habit of periodically reviewing your accounts online. Check in for your security setting. Who you are currently in touch with and who you lost it with. Who can see your profile, and how much and if they should. What do your posts and messages tell other people about you? Is it what you want them to think? Are your photos public or private? Are they appropriate? Do your photos reveal more than they should? That’d be all for today.
Block Anyone who Bothers You. ANYONE.
You don’t have to accept anyone’s friend’s request just because they sent it. Women in particular find it difficult to turn someone down or reject someone. And this is what gets them in trouble more often than not as predators use this against them. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
It you who should decide where, when and why you are contacted. Its SOLELY up to you. Never forget. If you don’t know someone, delete the request. If they don’t back off, block them. Block anyone who bother you for that matter. Block them on your Facebook, Twitter, Email, Phone.. Basically everywhere.
Don’t be the Fall Guy for Someone Else’s Actions
Even after all of the above, anything still happens, please don’t blame yourself. Don’t be guilty or pretend that it was your fault that you fell for a scam, or fraud or bullying or any other problematic situations. It the culprit who should be ashamed and guilty of their action. Instead of just sitting and regretting what has happened, how it could have been avoided, get up and get the help you need NOW!