As the world becomes increasingly digital, staying safe online has become a more important part of everyday life. Unfortunately, this can sometimes be easier said than done and many individuals may unknowingly be putting their safety at risk every time they go online.
Thankfully, having some guidance around digital safety can make the process easier and more accessible. Here are some tips that will help you navigate the digital world safely.
#1. Don’t Trust People You Don’t Know Online
While the ability to explore the web anonymously may seem attractive to some, it can also lead to dangerous situations. Today, it’s easier than ever for someone with nefarious intentions to create fake social media accounts and pose as someone else. Though many are aware that this is an online risk, a few particular groups of people are at a greater risk of being exploited in this way.
Children and older adults are particularly susceptible to being the victims of scams and predation online. This is due to a greater sense of trust in others coupled with a lack of awareness about the dangers of being online. Accordingly, being wary of strangers online is an important internet safety tip for anyone spending time engaging with others on social media.
In our increasingly digital age, it’s more important than ever that you and those you’re close to are wary of strangers online. Some particular red flags you should look out for include:
- People you don’t know cold messaging you
- People asking for private information
- People with suspicious social media accounts
#2. Make Sure Your Personal Information Is Being Kept Private
If you’re like most, engaging with social media has probably become second nature. Most people have multiple social media accounts on various platforms which they use frequently. Unfortunately, many people are unaware that their account is available for the public to see. This means that anyone — whether you know them or not — can explore your social media pages.
You can safeguard yourself against strangers exploring your social media profiles by going to the settings on various platforms and making sure that your social media page is private. This will ensure that no one outside of those you’ve accepted as connections will have access to your pages.
This is especially important for those working in certain sensitive roles such as nurses using social media who deal with the sensitive information of others as well as their own.
In addition to making sure your social media pages are private, it’s important not to post personal information or make it available in your bio. Things you should remember never to post or make available on social media accounts include:
- Personal information such as your phone number and address
- Pictures of your home that contain an address, street sign, or easily identifiable characteristic
- Pictures of your car that contain a license plate number
#3. Invest In Cybersecurity
Though most people find themselves online almost every day, a dishearteningly small number of them invest in cybersecurity measures. Unfortunately, cybercrime has been steadily growing over the last decades and is a bigger threat than ever before.
In addition, cybercriminals have become savvier, more cunning, and more knowledgeable about how to conduct cybercrime, making it a significant risk for anyone who goes online.
If you find that you haven’t been implementing any cybersecurity measures, there are a few places where you can start. The first is to install cybersecurity software on all of your devices. Many of these types of software can be purchased on a subscription basis for a relatively reasonable monthly payment.
The next thing you should do to bolster your cybersecurity measures is to become aware of what kind of things cybercriminals typically look to exploit. Some things that you should avoid when possible include:
- Opening links connected to suspicious emails
- Using public WiFi without cybersecurity software installed
- Making your passwords easy enough for someone to guess
Don’t Make Yourself Vulnerable Online
Although utilizing digital technology and going online is something that almost everyone engages in, many people are unknowingly making themselves vulnerable online. Being aware of safe practices can significantly increase your chances of staying out of harm’s way while going online.
By not trusting strangers, ensuring that your personal information is kept private, and implementing cybersecurity measures, you can be sure that you’re well protected against many of the dangers looming in the digital world.
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