Staying Safe Online

One of the most underrated dangers out there in the world, is the internet. There are so many things and people that are lurking in the shadows, and what makes them different, is that they are able to hide behind a screen, and so they fear a lot less because their identity is usually hidden and they remain anonymous. The best thing that you can do is to learn as much as you possibly can about the internet, because essentially the more you know, the less you have to be afraid of, so looking at sites like Devs Journal can really help you to broaden your knowledge.

Here are some of the best tips for ensuring you stay safe.

Report suspicious emails

More often than not, you will receive emails that usually automatically get placed into your spam folder, and when this happens, you most likely never open it anyway. But sometimes, your email doesn’t identify them as being spam, and this is where you may find yourself tricked. People can draft an email that sounds convincing, whether it be on a religious subject, or an illness, or charity, or all three – they tend to write things that pull on your heartstrings so that you feel bad for the stranger. As soon as you begin to engage with them – that’s where it starts. They will say whatever they need to in order to allure you in and make you believe you can help and make things better. It then only takes a few bits of information to drain out your bank account. So if you get an email from an unknown source – delete it.

Never overshare

Social media is what most people are on nowadays, and it is used to share information, pictures, and videos with their friends, family, and random followers. The problem here, is that so many people tend to overshare the information that they put out, which means bad people can quite easily use that info to steal your identity. They know your birthday, your hometown, where you currently live, and what job you have. Not only can this lead to a ton of financial issues, but you can also put your life in danger too. For example, when uploading a photo to social media, you may decide to tag where you are. If someone has taken a particular liking to you, you may be being stalked without even knowing.

Cover your webcam

A lot of people think this sounds extreme, but if you have a webcam built into your laptop or computer – when not in use, cover it with a bit of tape. This is because there are hackers out there who are able to hack into your system and watch you through your webcam. This is not only disturbing, but it can be very harmful to you as they may use images that they threaten you with unless you give them something they want, like money. Not only that, but as soon as someone has hacked into your device, they can control whatever files and documents that are on it. Be it bank statements, addresses, logins and passwords.

About Will Chatham

Will Chatham is the Security Assessment Engineer for Arbor Networks. Since Netscape 2.0, he has worked in a wide array of environments including non-profit, corporate, small business, and government. He started as a web developer, moved into Linux system administration, and ultimately found his place as a security professional. Having most recently conquered the OSCP certification, Will continues to hack his way into various things in an effort to make them more secure.
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