Seven tips to help keep you safe online
Here are some things you need to be aware of when going online.
1. Copyright is important
The World Wide Web contains a vast array of content of all kind, such as music, images, video, text and so on, that may fall under copyright rules.
Internet content is easy to access, nevertheless, there are rules and laws that do not allow using someone’s content without permission.
2. Be careful when receiving e-mails from unknown sources
Have you received an e-mail from an unknown source? Do you frequently receive e-mails from people you don’t know?
Don’t trust e-mails that come from people you never met, especially those e-mails that ask you to take an action.
It is not very difficult to spot this type of phishing e-mails which demand immediate action and contain words like “confirm now“, “take action now“, “discover now“, “pay now”, get your refund, etc.
To fool the potential victims, the latest trend in e-crime is to deploy spear phishing attacks, where e-mails appear to come from well-known individuals or banking authority or well-known online retailers, such as Apple, Amazon, etc.
So, when you receive such an e-mail, make sure you:
- Don’t reply to the e-mail
- Don’t click the (malicious) attachment
- Don’t click the dangerous links in the e-mail that could download malware on the system
3. Don’t click that link or online ad!
It is a link and you want to follow it, no matter it is in an e-mail or in a web page.
What could go wrong? The answer is simple: a lot of things could go wrong.
Just by clicking a link in an e-mail or a pop-up window, you could connect and enroll your system into a botnet network and have your computer used in online attacks and malicious actions that target financial data and personal information.
4. It’s a free program, so that’s good, right?
Well, it depends on the program. Do you know that program? Have you or others used it before? If you are not sure about a software that you want to download and run on your system, just google it!
You should find some information on that software or, in case it is a malicious software, you should discover users that complain or security programs that have been created to remove that threat.
Another major danger posed by free programs is the additional drive-by downloads that are installed without our knowledge and bring on the system security exploits that target our software vulnerabilities.
5. Do not reveal sensitive information online
It is not easy, especially today when everybody has a social media account and it’s normal to simply go online and comment, blog or share.
And among so much information we make public, we forget that personal names, contact details or private interests are also displayed to unknown people.
These are the elements that are used to deploy identity theft activities. So, be a bit skeptical about people you meet online and about their intentions. It is a well-known fact we all exaggerate our real lives on Facebook, but sometimes social media dangers may create real issues for us if we add the wrong people to our circle of friends.
6. Keep your credentials for yourself
Our credentials for online accounts, user names and passwords, are probably the most important pieces of information in the online environment.
For this reason, there is nothing more important than keeping them safe from prying eyes and cybercriminals.
Remember: Even though you may have set a strong password, if you use it more than once and in more than one online account, in the unfortunate case hackers discover it, your other online accounts are in danger of being compromised also.
7. What you post online may stay online forever
We post photos, remarks, location updates and similar content, which we think is only seen by our close friends.
follow a few simple guidelines:
- think twice before you publish or post it.
- will you still support your content over the years?
- could your content affect your personal or professional life in the future?