How to navigate the internet safely and protect yourself
Click, click, upload! It takes just seconds to post a selfie on Instagram or to mark your photo locations on Facebook. Social media allows friends and family to keep in touch more easily than ever. But there are other people out there who are just as interested in your information for their own reasons, so it is important to act sensibly. We want you to enjoy the internet to the fullest, and it is easy when you know the tips and tricks to protect yourself and stay safe online.
Your personal information can be a goldmine for others and the more they know about you, the more vulnerable you become. Four main areas are of interest: you and your family’s personal details, your habits and interests as well as your contacts and credentials.
With every new post on social media, new data is uploaded to the internet and made accessible — sometimes, even very private information. Think of your name, address, phone number, favourite foods, holiday preferences, names of your friends, family, pets and more.
Given the availability of all this data online, obtaining specific information about a person has become relatively easy. All this data can be subject to misuse. Depending on the degree of online presence an individual has, a completely fake profile can be created within minutes.
Just imagine if someone decides to target you by observing your online behaviour, your habits, and even your home. Cyber criminals can gain access to your online accounts. The information you upload to the internet could potentially make you vulnerable in real life. In the worst case, criminals will not only obtain information about your location, but can also gain access to your bank accounts and steal your identity.
Does that mean you should stop going digital? Of course not!
Just be aware of your online behaviour and act with caution.
- Think twice before registering a new account at yet another online shop. With each registration, your data is shared and can be leaked if the company does not make security a priority.
- Are your social media profiles public or private? In private mode, only your approved contacts can see your content. In public mode, however, your posts are visible to anyone. Be cautious about what information you share.
- Be careful with your contacts. Do you really know this person? Check carefully before accepting friend and follower requests, especially when you have sensitive data on your profile.
- The internet never forgets! Be aware that the content you provide – be it a picture of your last holiday or information about your work and home – can carry a life of its own, even after you have deleted it from your account. People might have downloaded and shared the information without your knowledge.