Do you surf safely? Almost 88% of us have used the Internet in the last three months and since you’re reading this blog you must be one of them. However, as much as we’re told to stay safe online, we are still falling for email scams, phishing attacks and identity theft. So, how can you improve your safety?
Always Know Who You Are Dealing With
Phishing is a type of scam where an email will pretend to be from a reputable source but will encourage you to log in through a link that will steal your login details. Banks and online retailers like Amazon are often used in such scams. Don’t click the link. Call or log in directly from their website to check the facts.
Look For The Padlock
When you get to the checkout screen have a quick look at the bottom of your browser window. If the little padlock is open your details aren’t going to be safe. You wouldn’t hand your credit card to the person behind you in store but if that padlock is open you could be doing just that.
Don’t Meet IRL If You’re Not Sure
LMIRL? Let’s Meet In Real Life. You may know all the online acronyms, but you don’t know whom you’re actually dealing with over the Internet. Photos can be stolen and identities faked. Don’t arrange to meet people you meet online without being absolutely sure they are who they say they are. Video chat is a good way of seeing if the person you’re dealing with is who they say they are, but it’s still not enough to know whether you can trust them. If you really think you can trust them then arrange to meet with a group of friends somewhere public like a coffee shop.
Use An Anti-Virus Program
Computer viruses are still out there. Make sure your anti-virus protection is up to date at ALL times. If you’re using open Android or Windows operating systems you’re particularly at risk – so it’s worth investing in getting covered. If you see any odd app icons on your phone, uninstall and keep a close eye if it comes back – It’s most likely malware of some kind.
Change Your Password
It’s a nuisance but the more often you change your password the harder it is for criminals to hack your accounts as any stolen ones won’t work.
Use Parental Controls
Make sure children can’t get at unsuitable content by making use of parental controls. Most major service providers include them in their packages and you can install apps. Some anti-virus programs have their own parental controls too.
Have The Talk
Find out what your children are up to online. Take an interest in their games and social networks and talk to them about keeping themselves safe. Remember, as awful as it sounds, it’s not always just children in children’s chat rooms. Don’t let them use accounts they aren’t old enough to use. Most social networks have a minimum age of 13. Double check their privacy settings to make sure you both know who’ll see shared content and talk to them about over-sharing and keeping personal data safe.
Here at MEEM, we want you to keep safe online, and hope the above tips will help improve your Internet safety.