Internet Safety

Internet safety and how it affects you

Sharing about Internet safety during Cyber Security Month is me taking responsibility to keep my readers (yes, you!) safe!

I recently took a break from posting and managing MisterBitterSweet to deal with real life. Now that I’m getting back to MisterBitterSweet, I want to start by sharing an important message.

You’ve probably heard a lot about Internet safety, and you might not have cared about it. Its not entirely your fault that you’ve ignore it. You’ve simply not heard much about how Internet safety affects you and even the people around you.

P.S. It affects you in more ways that you think.

Technology and the Internet changed the way we live

We’re probably not alone when we say we spend quite some time on the Internet. Regardless whether you’re performing bank transactions online, researching online for your studies, scrolling through social media or watching YouTube. Its so convenient these days, its easy to forget how life was before high speed Internet and mobile phones.

What we’re able to do now using technology would’ve been unimaginable just a decade ago. Like being able to know what your friends and families are up to with a scroll of a finger? Or being able to see them whenever you want to regardless of where you are? The convenience we have these days is simply amazing.

While we keep up with technology trends to make our lives more convenient, how much do we really know about these technologies? About its security?

I don’t mean you should examine technical aspects of technology you’re using. But start understanding what these technologies are doing to protect you and the information you’re providing to them.

I’m talking about protecting the well-being and privacy of you and your loved ones. So let me share some tips on how you can enjoy the wonders of technologies while staying protected.

Three Rules of Internet Safety

Internet Safety
These rules apply to Internet safety too!

Introducing three important rules of Internet safety:
1. Be Careful
2. Be Aware
3. Be Safe

You must be thinking, “You’re kidding, it can’t be that simple, right?” Well, it is actually that simple, people just tend to over complicate things. Let me explain a little more, and you’ll see just how simple Internet safety can be.

Be Careful

The first rule, “Be Careful”, refers to be careful of who you interact with on the Internet. Just like how you would not private information like your bank account details or where you stay to random strangers, don’t do the share these information to people over the Internet.

Just because someone you know sends you an email or message through Facebook asking about these information, doesn’t mean you have to give them away.

I’m not saying you can’t trust your friends or families, what I’m really saying is that you don’t know who’s really on the other side of the screen. People’s accounts get hacked so often nowadays that you can’t really be sure who’s actually sending these messages.

If you really want to provide these sensitive information to whoever’s asking, the least you can do is give them a call or verify them before giving them these information. Verify them by simply asking them questions that only they would have the answers to.

Be Aware

We often tell people around us that when you’re not paying for a product, you are the product. What we mean by that is when you don’t have to pay to use their services, information you provided is being used to pay for those services.

Received ads or calls from companies you’ve never provided your information to? Heard about recent news of global tech firms (not naming any of them but you know who I’m referring to) being in trouble with the way they handle their users’ data?

You guessed right, all those happened because you entered your data when you registered for that lucky draw to win a free iPad or holiday at Maldives. I don’t mean lucky draws are bad (I’ve heard stories of people winning awesome prizes), but you should probably verify the source of these luckily draw or surveys before filling them up!

Be aware of how the information provide are being used and if you’re comfortable with it being used. Data privacy is something we don’t put enough emphasis on, and is important for you and your families’ protection!

Be Safe

You might be thinking, “How unsafe can I be behind a screen where no one essentially knows who I am?” I mean, you’re behind a screen in the safety of your home. What’s the worse that can happen to you, right?

You might wanna hold that thought. You’ll be in for a surprise if that’s what you’ve been thinking and ignoring your safety on the Internet. Its been proven time and again that our lives are so deeply interconnected with the Internet that it has become who we are.

That social media post you put up about your entire family leaving for Europe for a month (#familyvacation) or that popular photo of your flight ticket showing your flight details (#livingthelife)? That’s right, all those are public information that people with ill intentions now have access to.

We’re not even talking about the checks future employers now do on you by Googling you to see. Yep, that’s a thing now if you don’t already know.

Safety also goes beyond the physical, with increasing discussions about cyber bullying and doxing, your mental health could also be at risk.

What can you do?

Well I’m glad you asked! Okay, maybe I asked on your behalf, but I’m sure as responsible people you’d agree.

You probably know I’m not kidding when I say Internet safety is something you shouldn’t ignore. There just isn’t enough advocates and conversations about this going around to educate people about the importance of Internet safety.

You can do your part by taking this message and sharing that with your friends and family.

Padlocking Internet won’t help make it any safer!

Padlocking their computers or not using the Internet no longer works (you can try, but I’m sure you won’t get far). What you can do is share with them how they can be more careful with what they do on the Internet and who they share their information with.

Better yet, take a minute and review your privacy settings on Facebook and Google. Don’t stop at these two, they are the most common, but not the only ones! Review your privacy settings on everything else you use online to protect yourself.

Final words

Beyond everything that I’ve shared above, its important to remind them of the golden rule in life.

If its too good to be true, it probably is.

Hope I managed to share a great message with you, and hopefully you’re able to share this with your friends and family too!

Feel free to drop me a message either in the comments section or at my Contacts us page! Signing off now…

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