Everyone knows the dangers of the internet, and still we often do risky things online that are not just dangerous but sometimes just downright stupid. Therefore, we would like to reiterate, things to bear in mind when online- just so that you cannot blame us for not reminding you. :p
It is better not to trust: we tend to trust easily and this coupled with the fact that mystery is always attractive, unfamiliar people might seem interesting and irresistible. But you never know, the cute teenager you are talking to could be a 40-year-old pervert behind the screen of his device. Our point being, that you never know who these online strangers are. Do not give out personal information to them and do not agree to meet them in person! Yes, folks, ditch the temptation and mystery- it is not worth the risk. And if you really must chat online do use a pseudonym instead of your real name.
Do not post things you will regret later: Speaking of trust…today, it is extremely difficult to trust anybody (even your best friend). Keeping that in mind, it would be just plain stupid to share pictures of yourself with anyone, especially compromising or intimate photos. These pictures once posted may be irretrievable. And this is why we never send out nude pics of ourselves! EVER!
Keep your data safe: It’s all about the data and information, and cyber criminals want your information desperately!! They will trick you into downloading some malware that will try and steal your information. Don’t open emails or links that you receive from unknown sources. We also know that you would never give out your usernames, passwords, pin numbers etc. to anyone. But we shall say it again, just to be doubly sure – DO NOT give out your birth date, address and other personal information to ANYONE including people who claim to work at your bank.
Keep your accounts secure: Also remember, that passwords are one of the biggest weak spots in the whole internet security structure. If you think that using passwords with your date of birth, age, etc is a good idea, well it is not! However, tracing them is just as easy as remembering them! Hence, folks, you need to set strong passwords.
Do not be tricked: You won a contest!! Bring your cheque-book! No, you did not win a contest! Remember what we told you about trusting strangers and tempting offers- do not be foolish. Do not fall for claims that you have won online contests. These are normally fake. Also, do not give away your money to people who ask for charitable donations online. Most of these are fraudulent.
Seek help if you must: Today, cyber bullying is a major subject of concern in this digital era, there are people who’ve taken their own lives because of bullying and harassment issues which is why you should NEVER bully or abuse anyone online just because you can stay anonymous. If you should find yourself being bothered and harassed by someone do report them or block them. Do not tolerate abuse, bullying or stalking online. If you find that you cannot deal with the problem on your own, you can complain to an elder or cyber authorities and seek their support in dealing with the problem.
So, to sum up, in the online world, there is no way you can take back a remark you wish you hadn’t made or get rid of an embarrassing selfie you took at a party. Hence, do contemplate very carefully what you are posting/ sharing online. Remember the internet is an open forum and you should never share personal information on an open forum. Do suitably modify the privacy settings on all the apps and social media pages that you use, so that you have some control over your own information.
Finally, folks, stay alert, stay aware and stay safe.