Yet just because, for the most part, the internet is a good thing, that doesn’t mean there aren’t problems associated with it. The main issue is safety; there are plenty of scams online that people fall for every day, and those scams can involve stealing personal details, taking money, or being abusive.
If you do intend to use the internet for work or for fun – or both – then it pays to learn more about how to keep yourself safe when you do it. Here are some tips on how to do just that.
Antivirus software isn’t just something that businesses need to think about – it is something that private individuals can make use of too. Emails arrive in our inboxes throughout the day and night. Some will be perfectly harmless, even important, but others will be much more dangerous. Some will have attachments that, if opened, will infect your computer, rendering it useless or sending back information to the scammer (information which includes passwords and online banking information, for example). Others will include links that you should not click; if you do, you could infect your computer, or you might be directed a site set up to steal your information.
In order to protect yourself from these problems, you should install antivirus software on your devices. This will capture the problematic emails and downloads before they can do any damage. If you have already opened a potentially dangerous attachment or downloaded a virus, you may be able to use malware removal to make your computer safe again.
Don’t Give Out Personal Information
One of the most important rules, when you are online, is that you should not give out your personal information. It might seem harmless to tell someone you are chatting to on social media, an online game, or on a forum, your name, and even where you live or work, but scammers can, unfortunately, use this information to steal your identity, and that is a big problem.
It’s not just about the information you willingly tell people when you are getting to know them online either; social media has a big part to play in people’s safety. We all post so much information from where we are going to pictures of our children and much more. If your security settings aren’t private, then anyone could discover where your kids go to school, where you work, where you are heading that evening, or even when you’re on vacation. They might use this information to burgle your home or to stalk you. It is best not to give out any information to strangers at all.
Only Use Legitimate Sites
There are millions of websites on the internet, and although most of them are perfectly fine to use, some are not legitimate and have been set up to scam people. You must be extremely careful when you are visiting websites to ensure that you are only visiting those that are safe to do so.
It’s true that cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated and using more up to date and professional looking technology to scam their victims. However, there are still some important signs to look out for to check whether the website you have clicked onto is legitimate. These include:
• A URL that begins ‘https://’
• Correct spelling and grammar
• Correct logo
Remember, some scammers will set up a website that looks very similar to a legitimate one such as Amazon or eBay. Always type in the correct URL rather than clicking on links to ensure you are going to the right site.
It’s not pleasant to think that there are people out there whose main aim is to trick people and steal their money, or their identity, or who would use information gained about where someone lives or attends school to terrorize them. Unfortunately, the truth is that these people do exist; therefore, it is down to the individual to educate themselves as much as possible about online dangers and how to deal with them. The more knowledge you can arm yourself with, and the better protected your devices are, the safer you will be.
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