Stay Safe Online

2 min read
Avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime!

Many of us browse the Internet on our mobile phone, click on links, read or send emails, transfer files, and part with sensitive information without worrying about the dangers of doing so. While the Internet is an important tool that enables us to work and study from home, spending large amounts of time online could also expose us to cybercrime, whether it’s inadvertently handing over our personal details through a phishing email to hackers or having our identity stolen.

Instead of being ignorant about potential threats, take steps to stay protected.

Share Selectively 
Be cautious about posting personal information online as these details could be used to impersonate you, or guess your password and logins.Keep Your Privacy Settings On 
Marketers are always keen to know all about you; unfortunately, so are hackers. Both can learn heaps from your browsing and social media usage. But you can control this by enabling privacy safeguards and keeping them enabled.

Ensure Network Security 
When you are at home or at work, you very likely employ a password-protected router that encrypts data. However, when you are in a public place, you may be tempted to make use of the free Wi-Fi available. The trouble with public Wi-Fi is that it is often unsecured. This makes it easy for a hacker to access your device or information. To prevent this from happening, invest in a Virtual Private Network (VPN). This is a software that creates a secure connection over the Internet, so you can safely connect from anywhere.

Shop Safely 
Keep safe when shopping, banking or conducting any other transactions online by ensuring that the site’s website address starts with “https” rather than the unencrypted “http”, and has a padlock icon in the URL field. You can then be sure that the website is secure and uses encryption to scramble your data so it can’t be intercepted by others. Also, look out for websites that have misspellings or bad grammar in their addresses. This could indicate that they are copycats of legitimate addresses.

Use Complex Passwords  
Generate strong passwords. Rather than take the easy way out by using birthdays or names as passwords, come up with a phrase — maybe a line from your favourite song or poem — which you can scramble and then add numerals and a special character to. Alternatively, a password management app or Google Chrome’s built-in password manager can be of help. If multifactor authentication is offered on a website, use it. Also, vary passwords across email accounts so as not to jeopardise all of them.

Be Wary Of Clickbaits 
These can suck you down a rabbit hole of more and more advertisements. We have a separate article on this type of digital trap, which you can read here.