In today’s digital age, staying safe online is of the utmost importance. Every day, businesses are targets of fraud and individuals are subject to identity theft. Hackers can ravage our devices, and even celebrities aren’t immune- with a number of them having photos stolen from their phones. We live so much of our lives online, it’s how we work, socialize with friends, we do our banking online and have all kinds of personal and sensitive information stored on our devices and online accounts. So our safety online is something that we all should be taking very seriously. Here are a few points to consider
Safety on Your Smartphone
It’s well documented that Apple iPhones are more safe and secure than any other model. All of the apps you can download are verified, and overall it’s almost impossible to hack your information from them. A new update means you can set up two-step verification for icloud too meaning this is unable to be compromised. If someone has physical access to your phone for any length of time, it’s possible to jailbreak and store malicious software, however, for the average person, this really isn’t a concern. According to http://www.icloudlogin.com/, on any device, you should be exercising caution such as not clicking links in text messages from unknown senders, or using unsecured wifi networks. However, the security on iPhones are far better than the other leading models. So if you’re in the market for a new phone and safety is high on your priority list then investing in an iPhone is a good option. There are a number of apps now which let you log in using your fingerprint, it’s worth setting this up if you have the option to give you that added peace of mind.
Safety When You Make Purchases
There’s a reason the high street is in decline – rather than trawl through the shops most of us prefer the convenience of shopping from the comfort of our homes. Online shopping has taken off massively in the last few years, but this can also mean it’s something we need to be conscious of from a safety point of view. Websites selling counterfeit goods are common, and others are simply set up to take your money with nothing ever even being posted. Be wary of where you shop online, even if it’s a big brand or well-known store be sure to check the website’s URL. If it’s not the official link, then it’s likely to be a scammer. If you want to shop from a site you’re unfamiliar with, one thing to look at is their social pages. Scam sites that have been set up in a hurry won’t have tons of followers and interaction. Check on their socials for customer reviews, see if there are any complaints and if so, the way they have been responded to. And unless you’re using a very well known site like Amazon, always use PayPal to make purchases. That way, if anything does go wrong during the transaction, you know that you will be able to get your money back – there’s more information on how this works here https://www.paypal.com. You don’t want to be entering card details into anywhere that you’re unsure of, and it goes without saying that you should never send over bank details. Any company asking you to do this is definitely not legitimate.
Safety on Social Networks
The problem with social networks is that privacy settings are regularly changed, meaning you might be sharing details that you didn’t intend to. Snapchat for example recently released an update allowing you to share your location. If you share to Snapchat’s story, your location will show regardless of what settings you’ve chosen. These kinds of issues should be taken seriously, so make sure you’re not putting yourself at risk. Things like your phone number, email address and other personal details should be set to private. Do regular privacy checks to make sure everything looks as it should. It can be worth regularly deleting private messages too, we bear all to our friends in messages, and if someone does gain access they’re going to be able to see everything. Be sure to actually delete rather than archive where they can’t be recovered.
Safety on Email
Safety on all of your accounts is important, but particularly so when it comes to email. If a hacker gains access to your email, then they can reset passwords and gain access to everything that’s linked to it. Be sure to set a strong, complex password (and make sure you’re the only one who knows what this is). A mixture of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and punctuation will make it extremely difficult to crack. Avoid kids, pets, partners and nicknames, important dates and other passwords that someone could guess. Always set up two-step verification too for email. This is often done by texting a code to your phone before you can log in, or you can sometimes use an authenticator. This is an app which you can link to your accounts and generates codes every thirty seconds, there’s more info on the way they work on sites like https://security.stackexchange.com. To log in, you simply enter the code shown. These days most email inboxes will automatically filter junk, but be careful of clicking on anything that looks dodgy from unknown senders and certainly don’t click on any links. If you receive an email from somewhere like Paypal or your bank and you’re unsure if it’s legitimate, always type the address in manually into your browser and log in this way instead of going through a link. Since the link can lead you to a website that looks exactly as it should but is really just there to steal your details and login to your account.
Have you put much thought into online safety? What steps do you take to ensure your details are kept safe online?
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