The internet can be an amazing place to discover our own world. Who would have had a thought 20-30 years ago we would be able to shop, bank, run a business and even find a Saturday night date…let alone thinking this all could be done from a phone. Crazy thought huh? With so much luxury and opportunity at our own finger tips it is important to remember with great opportunity, comes great consequences.
Be aware of what you do on the internet may not only be for your eyes only. The internet is a place where cyber-criminals are counting on you to be unaware of your online actions. Cyber-crime is becoming more prevalent and can even dangerous to your personal safety.
So here to help, Comstar has come up with a few suggestions on how to protect yourself while surfing the web.
Stop! Keep a clean Machine
Before you explore the web, do a basic overview. Check-up on your computer devices. This may seem like common sense but you’d be surprised how often people forget to do it. Be sure your computer is up to date with the latest security software, web browsers and operating system. These are best defenses against viruses, malware and other online threats that can and could harm your machine.
Think! Ask questions
Before you go crazy clicking through the web in record time, stop, breath and think! Use common sense and be aware of what information you are truly sharing with people and machines audiences. If you do not feel comfortable or safe for any reason, do not release it. Use sources you know are credible and safe. Think, “what am I really giving away if I release information X?”
Make a Plan! develop, implement, execute
Take some time to map out an online plan. Think of it as a blueprint to keeping yourself safe on the web. This is your plan suited for you, no one else. Don’t share it. The more you share about where you are and what you do online etc; Greater the risk you are for a cyber attack. Play it safe, dedicate times of the day when you use the internet for work, education and play. The more you know, greater the chance you are ahead of online hackers, scammers and cyber attacks.
Few ideas to get you started…
- Secure your phone and computer: Use different pass codes and passwords for each of your electronic devices, email accounts and log-in portals.
- Disable the geo-tagging feature on your phone. By doing so, you potentially avoid giving away your exact location for billions of eyes on the world wide web to see.
- When in doubt, don’t engage: emails, calls, voice-mails etc. Talk to who you know and who you can trust. If you are not sure the person on the other end is not who they claim to be, ask questions. It may be a little weird at first, but it’s a lot easier than seeing your bank account at $0.00
- If you are off of your own personal Wifi network, make the decision to only be online when you are on a protected and secured network. Commit to use other sources of communications when you are on potentially unprotected networks.