Technology has become an integral part of our daily lives. While offering unlimited amount of some very useful information and reshaping communications, it also offers a couple of threats down the road. These threats can range from scams, frauds, identity theft, harassment to even grave situations like kidnap, murder or suicide.
Children of this era have started migrating towards becoming a user of the Internet a lot more quick lier than they were allowed to some ten years ago. They are encouraged or let’s put it this way, advised to consult the Internet for the most trivial things. From assignments to school projects to new idea to entertainment, children of today deem Internet as their Godfather. But this situation has given rise to terms that have been mentioned in the paragraph above a little more earlier than it was expected.
Kaspersky Awareness Quiz has revealed that more than 74% of the internet users don’t recognize online threats because they are not ‘tech-savvy’. There are more likely to download a potentially harmful program on their computers only because they can’t spot the danger that hovers.
Another online survey revealed that more than 40% of the children that use the Internet have friends on their social network they have never known in person. This has raised concerns since the world has witnessed many instances where online predators who pretend to be young and befriend children to fulfil their malicious intents later and the results are always ugly.
Take a look at the following tips that might help you, your children, friends, family or acquaintances to stay safe and avoid Internet trouble.
Defending your Computer
The first and foremost principle, defend your PC or laptop or Tab or whatever you own. Viruses, bugs, worms and trojan horses have the ability to make their way into your PC without you even noticing. Install an authentic and legitimate antivirus and antispyware TODAY.
No matter how attractive an unprotected WiFi connection may look, never trust or connect your computer to unprotected hotspots. Protect your own router with a passcode to avoid others exploiting it.
Scams are not new to anyone. These programs may appear to be a legitimate link or attachment from a ‘trustable’ source. But it too late once you click it. Therefore always, always think twice and double-check before clicking on any email you don’t recognize or links that don’t look familiar.
Be extra Careful
Social media are being used by people for both business and personal motives. This gives rise to a number of risks as well. Using social media for business is associated with the risk of revealing too much about the business that may eventually prove unprofitable for the business itself, thereby negating the very idea behind using the social media for it.
According to a recent report, less than half of the Internet users have or know about and can control the privacy settings of their social media and the content that they post. More than a third half tend to accept friend requests from strangers and people that they’ve never met in person. Which brings us back to online predation. This also increases the likelihood of users being targeted through socially engineered communication techniques by attackers.
It is advised that you should become familiar with the security setting of your social media to enable security of your account or profile from predators. Be very responsible while posting anything. Think twice before publishing anything and consider if you would want to say it aloud in a room full of strangers.
Use STRONG passwords
Passwords are the first-line defence to your computer’s security. The stronger the password, the lesser the likelihood of viruses and hackers breaching your computer.
This is an acquired talent and not many people are good at coming up with strong passwords. It is advised that you don’t include anything predictable in your password like your DOB, your pet’s name or your favourite color.
Also, people tend to use one password for different accounts. This is even riskier as if a hacker gets the hold of one of your accounts, chances are he’ll acquire the custody of you accounts too.
To address these issues, there are now password-management programs available online to deal with the hassle of different, strong passwords for different accounts. Also different websites have certain standards that its users have to comply with in order to get a password.
Monitor your Kids’ Browsing Habits
Children access the Internet via PCs, laptops, smartphones, game consoles. They use it for homework, social networking, blogging, emailing or chatting. Undoubtedly children can gain a lot from the Internet as it offers an infinite source of information. But at the same time, it’s essential that we ensure the security of our children to protect them of online threats posed by the Internet.
Parental involvement is the key to protecting your children online. In order to do that, have a friendly chat with them to make them aware of the dangers they might encounter online. Parents also should take measures and monitor their children to ensure their security online.
Be Careful with Enabling your Location
Be careful with if you want to reveal that you are going on a vacation or visiting a museum nearby. This can attract thieves and burglars. You might be robbed on your way to your picnic or if you are going on a vacation, someone might plan to break into your house in your absence.
Carefully consider whether to allow geo-tagging on not. If you have children, it is advised to disable the feature completely as children may post information without even guessing the potential danger.