Online Safety: How To Play Safe Online

Online safety: Are you safe online? 
The internet has become so important to the extent we can't go a day without checking our emails, social media accounts or surfing the net for solutions to daily problems. But when it comes to online issues and safety, we are vulnerable and at a great risk of being,  defrauded, bullied, attacked or hacked. To avoid being hacked or defrauded, we must play safe when surfing the internet. Here are a number of safety tips you need to know to play safe.

1. Avoid clicking on suspicious links

If you find any link ( on social media, emails etc) you think isn't safe, just ignore it especially when you're not sure about the source. We often see shortened links on social media asking us to click for deals that seem too good to be true. Some of these links might be just a way to hack into your account. Do not click them! But if you still want to, be sure before you do.

2. Be Sure Before Submitting Your Login Details

Vulnerability is at it's peak when we're on social media. Before entering or submitting your username and password to any site, be 100% sure you're on the right website to avoid phishing attacks or submitting details to hackers who only intend to hack into your accounts.

Check the URL and be sure of each and every letter to avoid being hacked.

3. Browse in Private Mode when using shared computer (public computer)

We all have smartphones or computers and we don't have to care about leaving details for people to trace.  But when you're in the school's library or using a friend's computer it is always advisable not to leave traces of any detail or place you visited while surfing the internet. You can simply do this by using Internet Explorer

#Open explorer
#At the top header, click on SAFETY
#ENTER your URL and start browsing

When using smartphones, use opera mini, open a new tab in private browser and browse safely without saving or leaving any information behind.

4. Check for encryption (https: known as “hyper-text transfer protocol secure) and the locker symbol before making payments with credit cards etc. The "s" after the "http" means the site is secured and you're at no risk of submitting payments to a wrong person either than the website owner(s)

5. Use a Crazy Password

Avoid using your names and initials for passwords. Nicknames are not good either, avoid them. When choosing a password for a site, choose words that are not easy to think about, misspell the word to make sense only to you, use uppercase and lowercase letters plus figures and symbols to make that password crazy. And hey did I mention this! Never repeat passwords for different websites. Always use a different password and do not write them down for any reason at all.

6. Use Anti-virus 

Don't use your pc without protection. Even with the best antivirus protection, you're still vulnerable. Antivirus helps protect your computer from viruses while surfing online or when using flash drives that contain malwares and viruses. It is better than nothing at all. Use antivirus like AVG, Avast etc and always remember to scan your computers on regular basis.

7. Update Your Device & Computer Regularly

Always update your system when prompted. Most updates come with an advance security for your device and/or computer to help protect you from virus and malware attacks.

Take Away Tips

1. Don't give your password or username to anyone no matter who they are and what they are to you.

2. Don't make payments to any site if the website isn't encrypted to avoid fraud.

3. Always check the url before entering your login details

4. Avoid opening attached documents in emails unless you trust the sender. Even with that, do confirm if it wqs from them.

5. Opt for sign-up notification to keep track of all your login details to ensure you're not sharing your account with anyone but yourself.

6. Change passwords often

7. Avoid using free WiFi, it could be enough to collect all your valuable informations from your smartphone or computer.

8. Clear caches always after browsing. (Chrome, Mozilla and other browsers keep caches to track your location and some information about you and your device)

9. Just like caches, Cookies might also be bad for you. Clear them after browsing. Websites mostly use this to track your clicks, tastes and preferences among others by storing files on your device. Blocking cookies in your browser might help in a way but may be a bad idea because most sites won't work properly. Just allow them and clear them after- this is better.

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