How to stay safe when you’re online

The internet and wi-fi are without a doubt some of humanity’s greatest inventions. However, social media and increased globalization has conditioned us to overlook the risks of oversharing data.

In the past, handing over your credit card information to a complete stranger would seem like utter insanity. Nowadays, we do it all the time when we shop online and pay our bills.

Photos used to be mementos shared with friends and family, looking back on the good old days. In today’s world, we photograph and reveal the most intimate details of our lives with just about anyone on the internet.

While those statements may make us sound like absolute luddites, there is nothing funny about complete strangers reading your text messages, viewing our pictures, or even stalking you.

This does not mean that you should lock yourself away and communicate by pigeon. Far from it. It simply means that we need to take a long, hard look at our relationship with information and how we handle it.

Let’s take a look at how you can better protect your privacy online and on social media:

  1. Use a secure managing app

WhatsApp. Skype. Facebook messenger. WeChat. Line. And so many more.

These are just some of the tools and applications that have been designed to make communication that much easier. Thanks to the internet, reaching out to our loved ones has never been easier before.

It has also unfortunately given rise to a disturbing trend known as sexting. Defined as the act of sending sexually explicit text messages or pictures, sexting is a relatively new phenomenon that has come about during the information age.

We’ve all been there before. It’s 3am and you’ve been flirting with a fling for the past 2 hours. Now things are getting hot, so you decide to share some “private” pictures with them.

In the heat of the moment, it may seem like a good idea, but imagine what would happen if those pictures or texts got into the hands of a complete stranger. Imagine the consequences of what happens next or worse – being blackmailed for money or favors by a cybercriminal who threatens to expose you.

All of this is a very real threat for anyone who makes use of instant messaging applications. Hackers and other criminals have found ways to infiltrate our devices in order to steal details of our most intimate moments.

A secure messaging app that protects and encrypts your data is one such way of beating those scoundrels. From Telegram to Signal, there are dozens of messaging applications to choose from, thus giving you the edge over potential attacks.

We recommend Tezro, which besides being a fully encrypted text message app, it’s also one of the most used apps if you want to keep in touch with the latest cryptocurrency market trends.

  1. Keep an eye on what you share on social media

Before Facebook, there was Friendster and Myspace – early iterations of social media sites that allowed you to create a profile and share information like hobbies and interests.

Then came Facebook and users were given the option of sharing even more personal information. From their hometowns to their political beliefs, Facebook opened up the floodgates for the social media revolution.

Now people share news articles, pictures, have arguments and discussions, or simply vent their frustrations all on a single platform. For a data scientist, this is a treasure trove of information that reveals far more about a person than they’d feel comfortable revealing.

This is why you should always remember to keep the social in social media. Sharing music and entertaining cat videos are all perfectly fine on Facebook. However, you should refrain from articles that talk about politics, religion or some other controversial topic as you’ll never know who’s watching.

In fact it should come as no surprise that people have lost their jobs in the past as a result of their Facebook posts. So the next time you feel like leaving a comment or sharing an article with your thoughts, take a closer look and reconsider.

  1. Never use public Wi-Fi

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you should always avoid public or free wifi connections like the plague. The WPA2 encryption used on most connections means that security can be easily breached with minimal effort thus leaving your smart phone or device vulnerable to hackers.

In a public place like a cafe or airport, you’ll never know who may be on the prowl for victims. So the next time you’re at the airport waiting for your flight or having a drink outside, skip the free wifi and stay with data.

Online security is likely to become increasingly important in the days to come. So always remember to keep security at the back of your mind.

 

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