Do you use the Internet safely? Have you thought about your actions when engaging in online activities? The World Wide Web has changed your life. You are constantly connected through the use of computers, mobile devices, IoT and wearable devices. You stay in touch with the world and your friends and family through social media, texting, news stories, weather, movies, music, shopping and streaming. It is so automatic that sometimes you just plug yourself in and not think about the repercussions that might arise from your actions.
For all of the benefits of the Internet it is important for you to realize the risks as well. The Internet can be rife with rumors, gossip, inaccurate facts and reporting, identity theft, scams and bullying. So how do you know if this is factual information? How do you react to an unfavorable story about someone that you know on social media? How do you handle an email telling you that your account information at your bank needs to be verified? Did you just become a victim of ransomware?
So what can you do?
- Be vigilant when using the Internet. Just because there is a place to click doesn’t mean it’s a safe place to visit. Look for the padlock or https:// in the address bar.
- Keep your device and antivirus software patched and up-to-date.
- Review and set your privacy settings on social media sites and apps.
- Use strong and long passwords and don’t use the same password for multiple sites.
- If you receive an unsolicited email with an attachment or link you should verify the source before going further.
- Change default settings and passwords on all devices and apps.
- Don’t contribute to negative comments on social media.
- Don’t disclose too much personal information online.
- Verify online information before using it as a resource.