As fantastic as the internet is, one thing we can all agree on, is the fact that you need to be extremely careful when surfing the web. The internet is riddled with viruses, trojans, malicious links, and fake news, and you certainly have to have your wits about you when online. Data breaches are fairly frequent, and the last thing you want is to click the wrong link and find that you’ve become the victim of cyber theft or fraud. As daunting as this thought is, the good news is that in terms of cyber protection, staying safe online is now easier than ever if you know what to do. Here’s a look at several cyber security tips for staying safe online.
Always think before clicking – Okay, how many of you have received a link in an email, text message, or group chat online from a friend or family member and have clicked it without thinking? We’d wager that most of you have, and why wouldn’t you? After all, your friends and family would never send you a malicious link so surely, you’d have nothing to worry about? The thing is that accounts can be hacked, and although the link would appear to be coming from someone you trust, this might not be the case. When you receive a link of any kind, whether it be from someone you know, or a complete stranger, always think before clicking. If you are unsure, ask the person who sent it whether it is genuine, and see what response you get.
Use your own devices – Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, shopping online is as simple as tapping a touchscreen. We can now store our bank and card details on our laptops, tablets, phones, and computers and purchase items in a matter of seconds. As useful as this is, it can be risky. If you’re looking to purchase something online, or enter personal info, make sure you use your own devices, rather than anybody else’s. Even if you trust somebody, such as a friend or family member, if they were to misplace their phone, or have it stolen, it could potentially have your personal info on there, as well as their own.
Keep your devices safe – Whereas we should always want to keep our electronic devices safe because they’re so expensive, and because, well, they’re ours, in this day and age it’s more important than ever. If you were to lose your phone or have it stolen, it could contain all manner of personal info from your banking details, pictures of you, to your home address. On the subject of keeping things safe, never write down passwords or private info in places where prying eyes could see them.
Check your bank account and transactions – Online banking is now a part of everyday life, and it can help you to stay safe online. Get into the habit of regularly checking your bank statements and look for any suspicious transactions that you don’t recognise. If you don’t recognise a transaction, contact your bank immediately and as for clarification.