Staying safe online

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Staying safe online

Cyberspace is not the friendliest of environments one can spend time in.

Online privacy and online security become more and more concerning not only for corporations, but for private individuals as well – maybe even more for the latter, as all sorts of predators and bullies act out in the open.

When we are offline we have a clear idea of how and who to ask for help, and the Red Panic Button is a great improvement toward this purpose.

In order to stay safe online, there are a handful of rules and strategies you can employ so you don’t become the victim of harassment, stalking, cyber-bullying, identity theft and other worse crimes.

Let’s see today a few things you can do starting right now to protect yourself in any online environments.

  • Keep your phone number away from the public, as you may never know who and why might start using it to harass you or obtain even more personal information about you.
  • Have more emails to use for administrative purposes, online accounts, private conversations and so on. In case one of your emails gets hacked you won’t have your entire life and details exposed to the perpetrators.
  • If you are a parent, make sure you implement online restrictions for your children as they are one of the most vulnerable groups when it comes to inappropriate content, perpetrators and cyber-bullying.

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  • Get your mobile messages encrypted with the use of some specialized apps. You and the people you text to or call should also have a similar app installed. The benefit of such app is that all your conversations and texts will remain just between the two of you, with no other strangers involved.
  • Double authentication measures can help you stay safe from identity theft – if you double back a password with a physical device, like a smartphone, a secondary code giving you access to your account is going to keep you more secure. Some perpetrators may learn your password or account login data but they would need a physical device as well to access your accounts.
  • A password manager app / software ensures that you have diversified passwords all across your online accounts. This is probably one of the first safety measures one can take – if you use the same user name and password for all your accounts, your are incredibly vulnerable to hacking. A password manager helps you keep track of all your passwords, making them secure and strong – as diversification goes – so you can stay protected.
  • Change your browser or upgrade your current one. There are anonymity options when you browse the Internet, embedded on your browser. If you want to go full stealth, try using Tor. The traffic is bounced back and forth all over the world, covering as much as it can your physical location and your identity. What is to love more about Tor is that it comes with preset ad blocking scripts.
  • According to Edward Snowden, running ad blocking software helps you preserve better your privacy – you will be less tracked and targeted. Even if ads are not the most obvious means of online security breaches, the ones caring about them being tracked and surveilled should consider ad blocking as a supplemental measure.

Have you considered these online safety measures? Are you implementing others you’d like to share?

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