Most of us use the internet for harmless everyday purposes. It allows us to send emails, check social media, manage our online banking, and shop for clothes and groceries. But the online world is a vast place, full of dark corners and shady people. People tend to take the internet for granted, not concerned about the dangers it poses. But thousands each day succumb to cyber attacks, hacking, scams, grooming, identity fraud, and many other unpleasant offences.
Therefore you should be aware of how to keep yourself safe when using your smartphone or computer. If you’re naive or careless about the potential perils, you could end up losing money to opportunistic criminals or putting your privacy at risk.
To help you protect yourself, here are four tips to keep you safe online.
Be aware of scams
Crime has been around since the dawn of humanity, but with new trends and technologies come increasingly innovative ways for criminals to swindle innocent people out of their money. The rise of the internet posed a huge opportunity for new scams and schemes to take advantage of less technologically-minded folks. There are a huge number of internet and phone scams going around, so it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the most common ones. Phishing emails try to access your private information by posing as your bank provider or other legitimate operations. Always scrutinize emails carefully and check the sender’s email address to make sure it is above board. Phone scams are another common occurrence, and you should always be wary of calls from an unknown number. If you’re unsure, here are some ideas for ways you can find out who is calling.
Boost your cybersecurity
If you spend a lot of time working or gaming online, you should always ensure you have a robust cybersecurity and antivirus program installed. This will help to protect your system from malicious attacks and protect your files and data at all times. Set strong passwords for everything and always upgrade your software promptly when requested.
Be wary of other people
There is always a risk that people you meet online are not who they claim to be. If you have made a friend on social media or met a potential romantic partner through a dating app, be cautious. Don’t give them private information and take precautions if you decide to meet with them in person. Take a trusted friend along with you or let someone know your plans.
Don’t become addicted
Perhaps the most widespread consequence of society’s reliance on technology is addiction. The vast majority of adults in the Western world suffer from technology addiction, finding it hard to be away from their phones, tablets, or computers. This has far-reaching effects on people’s lives, impacting their social relationships, cognitive ability, and physical and mental health. It’s essential that you are aware of what overusing your devices can do to you, and try to limit your technology consumption. Make time for more wholesome analog hobbies and schedule tech-free periods each day.