by Max Hutchinson
There is no denying that the internet has probably affected just about everyone you know. With continuing advances in technology and social media, the internet can be a great place to spend some time. But as people connect to more gadgets more often, there is a growing concern for cybercrime and maintaining online safety.
You might be (unknowingly) allowing thieves to spy on you through your electronic devices since many toys and gadgets come with privacy insecurities, making it easy for a hacker or thief to break in. These gadgets can include items like smart TVs, the popular Xbox Kinect, webcams, and even baby monitors. And don’t forget about your car – think of all the technology that comes standard these days! Your personal computer is even at risk because there are viruses or programs thieves can create to steal the information you enter into it.
While it can be scary to think about, there is no need to live in fear of hackers and identity thieves. Here are seven ways to fight back and keep your personal information safe and secure online:
- Always use a strong password with at least eight characters. Be sure to use a combination of lower and upper case letters, numbers, and at least one symbol.
- Never save passwords in your web browser.
- Use trusted antivirus software on your computer, such as McAfee or Avast.
- Never enter personal data into a website that is unsecure or looks unprofessional. A secure website’s URL should begin with “https” as opposed to “http”. The “s” at the end stands for “secure” and uses an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) connection.
- Disable your webcam when it’s not in use.
- When using social media or other communication apps like Skype or FaceTime, only accept friend requests from people who you know and trust.
- Identity thieves love your credit cards so keep that information private and do not share it, especially when you are using an ATM or entering your card number online. Also, just like your passwords, never save your credit card online.
There are many additional ways for ways you can stay safe online, but I’d like to hear what ideas you have! Please share your suggestions in the comments below and stay safe out there on the internet.