Cyber safety is the safe and RESPONSIBLE use of Information Communication Technology (ICT).
Cyber safety can also be defined as the knowledge of maximizing the user’s personal safety risks for their private information and property which is associated with using the internet and the self-protection from computer crime in general.
By Widdlack Nyahwedegwe
As an individual you have to take measures to ensure that your private information is kept safe i.e. not putting anything personal on the internet if you know it can put you in danger of a predator.
Sensitive information such as personal information, identity and passwords may present security concern if leaked or breached. These may be:
- Social security number
- Credit card information
- Stolen passwords
- Bank account number
- Personal identification e.g. passport
This may be through phishing, pharming, internet scams and or spywares. You need to take correct measure when sharing or storing information on the internet or your computer.
The growth of internet gave rise to many services being accessed through a connection and this also led to a rise is many cyber-crimes. While this service allowed us to communicate with others through the internet, this also allowed the communication with malicious users. Common threats to personal safety include:
- Cyber stalking
- Online predation
- Obscene/ Offensive Content
THEREFORE TAKE NOTE:
- Your PASSWORDS job is to protect everything on your computer and the internet therefore creating a very strong password is very critical. The lock on your front door is a complicated system of tumblers that isn’t easily opened without a key. Like the lock, your password should seem complicated to others but simple to you.
- Use more than one password
- Use a strong, unique, practical and recent technique
- Length is very important i.e. the longer the better
- Use different passwords for different accounts
- Use not so random characters
- Change passwords every different months
- Be mindful when installing PROGRAMS or agreeing to TERMS. When you install, sign up or agree to anything, you have to read the fine print with the terms and conditions because sometimes the program might not be providing any security for you and it will be stated right in the terms and conditions.
Some sites require you to give all your information to get the product. Only fill in required fields that are marked with an asterisk (*). If the info box does not have an asterisk, it is optional and you can leave it blank. This will help you keep your private information from the internet.
- Be on the lookout for FAKE EMAILS. Fake emails usually contain an urgent request for your personal details. Phisher emails will typically ask for information such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, social security numbers, date of birth, etc. The emails will try to look official, replicating a bank or organization. Look for a digital signature if you are unsure if the email is real.
Avoid filling out the information that the email asks you to give. Only give personal information through a secure website or over the phone and never use the links in the email, instant message, or wherever you suspect someone might be trying to steal your information
- Limit the information you share on SOCIAL MEDIA. Have you ever wondered where all your information or pictures and videos you share on social media such as Facebook, snap chat or Instagram is stored? Have you ever checked the authenticity of the security on social media?
Most people on social media they post their maiden names, their hometowns, their home address, their parents’ names, their birthdays, and the birthdays of their children, their home and cell phone numbers, along with other detailed personal information. This information gives anyone with a computer just about every essential piece of information about you. Limit what you share online to protect your identity and privacy
NB:Sharing too many personal information on social media can put you in a lot of danger and can result in identity theft and others.
- Use an ANTI-VIRUS program, an ANTI-SPYWARE program and a FIREWALL. Surfing the internet without them is very unsafe because it invites viruses, spams and hackers onto your computer. Your computer needs an interface or a barrier between your computer and the outside cyber world thereby allowing specific data to cross.
- Turn off FILE SHARING and network discovery when using a public wireless network because it puts both your files and system at a risk of being opened by unauthorized people on the wireless network whom sometimes might be hackers, bullies or even stalkers.
- Block any suspicious cyber bullies and stalkers
- Always make sure you log out especially on public computers
- Make sure you download files from trusted sources and if you suspect any form of insecurity from the downloading link, quickly log out and change your online password
The Internet is without a doubt one of the best resources available to us. Unfortunately it’s also extremely dangerous if you aren’t aware of who and what lurks behind the scenes, you have to be responsible and aware of how secure is the internet and your computer. Do not be a victim of the cyber world. BE SAFE
Widdlack Nyahwedegwe is the co-founder of TownsTech Pvt Ltd. TownsTech is a company that specialises in Webdesigning and Webhosting.