Get Smart: How To Stay Safe Online

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stay safe online

The internet is a global marketplace for people who want to socialize, make money, network, or sell their products and services. Despite the great opportunities it offers, it’s also a place where many hackers, scammers, and thieves lurk to steal data. 

Hence, it’s important to do what you can to stay safe online. Here’s a quick and direct guide to protecting your data while using the net. 

  1. Track Your Social Media Account Or Browser 

One way to protect yourself online is to track your account or browser. For browsers, the best method to track your activity against hackers is to check your log regularly. You should make sure that you clear cookies as often as you can. This is because cookies can give malicious sites access to your data and, thus, compromise your safety. 


For your social media accounts, you can protect yourself by tracking the people you have spoken with and the data you have exchanged. Additionally, you should protect your families and children by using spy apps like the WhatsApp spy app. These kinds of apps will not only assist you in protecting their data on social media but also safeguarding their mental and emotional health from bullies and manipulators. For example, a spy app allows you to monitor your children’s messages and the people on their contact list.

  1. Create A Strong Password 

Always use a strong password on your social media platform or any site where you have to sign in. Characters that make a password strong include small letters, capital letters, numbers, and punctuation marks. However, you should avoid using the same ‘strong’ password for multiple accounts. Change your password often to reduce the risk of hacking.

Furthermore, avoid sharing your password with anyone. Stay alert and informed. Be wary of people who pretend to be officials who need to collect your password. No company or establishment would require you to send your password through a phone call, a text message, chat, or an email. 

Remember to keep your password to yourself at all times and refrain from setting up your browser to remember your password. Though saving your password on your browser will make it more convenient to sign in, it will only increase the risk of hacking. 

  1. Update Your Browser And Apps

If you’re going to stay online most of the time, then use only updated browsers and apps. Outdated applications are filled with bugs that make them unable to protect your data. They’re more susceptible to internet fraud as well.

Sometimes, social media network providers add protection features that secure your data. An outdated application wouldn’t have these features installed. Besides, all updated apps have bugs fixed and built-in protection to fight against viruses, fake websites, internet fraud, and hacks. 

  1. Block Suspicious People/Contacts

On social media, there will always be some people who may have malicious intent. For instance, they will introduce a business idea that’s actually a scam, ask you to help promote their page, or click a link. Other suspicious individuals may chat with you, intending to engage in a romantic or sexual relationship.

To keep yourself safe and secure online, especially on social media, block suspicious individuals. When they’re blocked, they won’t be able to access your account or see your post. What’s more, they won’t know that they’ve been blocked. 

  1. Keep Private Information Private

Information, like your bank account details, financial data, personal information, bill statements, address, or even your phone number, shouldn’t be shared online. These pieces of information can be used to steal your identity, scam your contacts, leak sensitive or data, or worse, steal your money. That’s why it’s advisable to keep personal information private. 

  1. Visit Only Credible Sites And Use Trusted Apps

Similar to using only updated sites and apps, you should only visit sites that are secure and credible with security certificates. This means that you shouldn’t click random links. If you visit unsafe sites, you might expose your data to viruses, internet frauds, and bad bots. 

When you download apps, make sure those apps are verified. Software from the Apple App Store is already verified. However, if the software isn’t from the App Store, you can install an enterprise app, which will confirm a harmful app by sending a notification that the developer of the app isn’t trusted. 

For those who use Android, you can turn on Google Play Protect. This feature can identify dangerous software. It can conduct a safety check on apps from the Google Play Store before you install them.


Conclusion

While some people use the internet as a platform to connect with friends, meet new people, or do research, others abuse it. You can follow these tips to stay safe online and surf the net comfortably.


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Oscar is a technology journalist writing for Techweez. Covers disruptions and innovations in mobile and how that changes the face of the Africa continent. Stay in touch via Twitter on @Oscar_Adika