Being safe online has always been important and now that we're having to spend more and more time using the world wide web, we have to make sure we are safe and up to date with things. A simple mistake could cause you a lot of harm and distress. Please see below our top tips for staying safe when online.
1 . Don't talk openly to people you don't know and keep your guard up. In today's world, it's far too easy to set up a social media account and hide behind a fake name and profile. So do your research when interacting with anyone new.
2. Be careful when sharing any personal information about yourself. Sometimes you will have to fill in online documents or forms but make sure they have been sent from a reliable resource. On the form or document look for a number and address that you can contact before you fill anything out.
3. If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Always go with your intuition and don't feel ashamed or embarrassed to ask questions; especially when it comes to online dating.
4. Never send or upload something that later on you may wish that you hadn't. Once it's out there, it's out there!
5. If you are meeting up with someone you've met online; make sure you meet them in a public place. Always let a close friend or family member know where you will be and the time you will be meeting that person.
6. Make sure your internet connection is secure and be careful what you download.
7. When setting up accounts choose strong passwords
8. Protect your Mobile Life. Our mobile devices can be just as vulnerable to online threats as our laptops. In fact, mobile devices face new risks, such as risky apps and dangerous links sent by text message. Be careful where you click and don't respond to messages from strangers. Only download apps from official app stores after reading other users' reviews first. Make sure that your security software is enabled on your mobile, just like your computers and other devices.
9. Use a Firewall. Even if your network is secure, you should still use a firewall. This is an electronic barrier that blocks unauthorized access to your computers and devices, and is often included with comprehensive security software. Using a firewall ensures that all of the devices connected to your network are secured, including Internet of Things (IoT) devices like smart thermostats and webcams. This is important since many IoT devices aren't equipped with security measures, giving hackers a vulnerable point of entry to your entire network.
10. Make sure your tech is up to date with it's latest software and that you have antivirus protection installed.
11. Enable Two-Step Authentication. Also known as multi- or two-factor authentication or login approval – two-step verification provides an extra layer of security beyond your username and password, to protect against account hijacking. When using this security mechanism; you will log in using your password and then be prompted to verify your identity again. This second verification is usually done via a biometric (fingerprint or face scan), security keys or a unique one-time code through an app on your mobile device.
Many websites and companies offer two-step verification, and they make it easy to set up this second layer; usually found in the settings section of your account. Using two-step authentication can help you feel more secure, especially for sites containing your financial information.
We hope that the above tips can help you to stay a little safer online. Always report any malicious behaviour to the Police or to the platform you are using. For more information about being safe online please visit https://www.getsafeonline.org
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