Tips for Staying Safe Online [Infographic]

These days, you can never be too careful when online. Even when you think you’re completely safe, hackers and scam artists could be just around the corner. While we should be able to freely use technology to our advantage, it going without saying that there are people out there who seek to do others harm. When using technology, you can stay as safe as possible by keeping in mind a few handy tips.

Make sure you have security on your device

It’s important to make sure your device is as secure as possible. This could be downloading an anti-virus software package onto your computer, or it could be making sure no dodgy emails can get through to your inbox. If you have a cell phone, encrypted phone calls systems ensure that nobody can get through to your calls and hack them or listen to what is being said. This can give you an added sense of security that nobody is hacking into your devices. Any devices which are connected to the internet should have security on them, and you should ensure that the software is being updated regularly.

Create good passwords

You might think it’s super smart to use the word "password" or your first name for all your email accounts, but it’s really easy to guess. In fact, most websites won’t even allow you to use words like that when you sign up, and will require you to use a password which consists of both upper case and lower case letters and numbers. While you might think this is just making things complicated, it really does help hackers stay away from your information and accounts. Even if the website you’re signing up for doesn’t require you to have a safe password, add a couple of numbers in or characters and stay safe.

Check your security settings

Websites such as Facebook and other social networking sites are well-known for creating updates and changing your privacy settings. You should check your security and privacy settings on Facebook, Twitter and any other such websites every week or so just to check that everything is still how you want it to be. It’s also worth knowing that it’s not necessary to put your phone number or home address on social networking sites, and it’s much safer to keep them off there completely. You should also be aware that when you sign up to a website, the security settings are set to default. This could mean that everybody can see your information, even those who aren’t signed up to the website. Whenever you sign up anywhere, go into your settings and just check that everything is how you would want it to be, and your personal information isn’t widely available.

Don’t open emails you’re not sure about

If you’re not sure about a certain email, don’t open it. It doesn’t happen often, but many emails will infect your device as soon as you open it. You don’t even have to click the links inside the emails or download the attachments - simply opening the email does a lot of damage. Even if it appears to have come from one of your contacts, if you suspect anything, don’t bother opening it. You can always contact your friends and ask them if they have sent anything, and if they confirm that it is indeed them, you can go ahead and open it.

Be careful when speaking to people

This might seem an obvious point for many people, but for others, it may come as something they haven’t thought about before. When playing games online or browsing social networking sites, be careful what information you give out to people you don’t really know. You will come across many people on the internet who are very deceptive and aren’t who they say they are. It’s also very important to teach your children how to stay safe when using the internet and technology, since many adults sign up to children games with bad intentions. While most of the users are children or other people playing along with purely good intentions, you can never be too careful, which is why it’s important not to give out any information, even the country you’re living in.

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