Most of us now are “connected” via our phones, tablets and other gismos, and the potential for the internet to be a valuable resource is huge. However, if you use the internet, you could be at risk of illegal activity or abuse. In the same way you learnt about safety when you leave your house, you need to know how to stay safe online, and hopefully this will help!
Social networking has become huge in recent years. Most users are genuine, however there are many risks that you should be aware of. Privacy is very important, make sure you don’t become “friends” with someone you don’t know in person. And don’t meet any strangers in person, that you’ve met online, there may be a completely different person sitting behind that profile picture. Keep personal information you wouldn’t normally disclose to people hidden, if you open up your private information to the world you’re just asking for someone to come along and pinch your identity, or use your contact details to scam you. You never know.
Cyber bullying is just as real as regular bullying in the school ground or the workplace. It is possible for cyber bullies to hack into your personal accounts and harass you from your own networking profiles. People that use the internet to bully people in this way tend to think they know what they are doing, and sometimes target people they wouldn’t usually do in real life. Thankfully this type of illegality can be the most traceable (but don’t bet on it).
Your email accounts can also be the target of unwanted attention; spam, phishing and viruses. Spam is often advertising emails trying to sell you something, in which case you could be getting ripped off. Phishing is the act of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as passwords or credit card details, and viruses are programmes that can be harmful to your computer and are often sent as an attachment. The golden rule is, if you don’t know who sent the email, delete it. You can avoid these unwanted emails by getting the right software, which is really something you should look into!
Most of these actions are generally easier said than done, as often you don’t know who is underneath an online profile, or the sender’s address of an email may look legitimate, but you have to be vigilant and make sure you keep your online safety in mind before opening emails or sharing information.
Just on a side note, our Brainstorm websites are hot on security, and as we are a registered company, we get a lot of unwanted internet traffic coming our way, still we have yet to encounter a problem with our security systems. So if you’re considering a web design process with us, or fancy an upgrade, you can be sure you are in good hands!