The internet is one of the best inventions man has managed to come up with. And it has definitely been useful to the human connection and the general improvement of society. However, the internet comes with a lot of issues that we, unfortunately, cannot escape. And the biggest issue has to do with safety. Everytime we get on the internet, we face threats of online bullying, phishing, identity theft, and online fraud. This is why we must be careful whenever we find ourselves online.
Here are some ways to be careful on the internet:
- Make sure to only use trusted services that are licensed.
To find out if certain services are licensed, you would have to visit the official website of the regulatory body in your country. These websites provide detailed information about the registration process, the regulations that licensed operators must comply with, and the penalties for non-compliance.
The fact that they have been and are regularly checked for compliance means that they are safe, to a very large extent. And sure, checking to make sure that an operator is regulated might be a lot of work, but isn’t it better to put in that work and be safe than to end up being the victim of a scam?
Checking that a financial operator is licensed and regulated is not the only precaution that you can take, though.
- Make sure not to share sensitive information randomly on the internet.
Your bank account details, credit card numbers, and social security numbers should be some of your best kept secrets. You shouldn’t even be sharing them via inbox or email because those can easily be hacked.
- Avoid – or, at least, reduce – interacting with websites that are not secure.
There are two ways to know whether a website is secure or not. One is to check for the lock icon in the address bar. And the other is to check that it is “https” not “http”. Most likely, both would come together. So, if you don’t see them, you should avoid clicking any links on that website because it could be a trap.
- Create strong passwords.
There’s no overemphasizing the need to use strong passwords for your online accounts. And it’s actually safer to use different passwords for your different accounts so that even if one password is hacked, your other accounts would still be safe. For accounts that allow it, you would benefit from taking the extra step with two-factor authentication. It’s currently the safest way to exist online.
- Avoid suspicious links
If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t click on suspicious links because they promise interesting rewards, you would probably get scammed.
Remember, prevention is always better than cure, and taking proactive measures is the only way to stay safe on the internet. And if you are one of those that make the internet unsafe, just stop it!