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Safe Surfing on the Internet

  • By Rizwan Shaikh
  • July 20, 2020

Everything relies on computers and the internet now—communication (e.g., email, smartphones, tablets), entertainment (e.g., interactive video games, social media, apps), transportation (e.g., navigation systems), shopping (e.g., online shopping), medicine (e.g., medical equipment, medical records), and the list goes on.

One of the risks we will talk about in this article is Cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying is using technology to bully or hurt someone else. Cyberbullying can include:

  • Sending/sharing nasty, hurtful or abusive messages or emails
  • Humiliating others by posting/sharing embarrassing videos or images
  • Spreading rumors or lies online
  • Setting up fake online profiles
  • Excluding other online
  • Repeated harassment and threatening messages (cyberstalking)

As children get older, it gets a little trickier to monitor their time spent online. They may carry a smartphone with them at all times. They probably want and need some privacy. That is healthy and normal, as they’re becoming more independent from their parents. The Internet can provide a safe “virtual” environment for exploring some newfound freedom if precautions are taken.

  • Talk about the sites and apps teens use and their online experiences.
  • Discuss the dangers of interacting with strangers online and remind them that people online don’t always tell the truth.
  • Explain that passwords are there to protect against many things, including identity theft. They should never share them with anyone, even a best friend.
  • Taking an active role in your kids’ Internet activities helps ensure that they benefit from them without being exposed to the potential dangers.

You must seek help from your local law enforcement agency or file a complaint with the cybercrime cell if you are a victim of a cyberstalker.

There are many threats, some more serious than others. These dangers include but not limited to:

  • Malware erasing your entire system,
  • An attacker is breaking into your system and altering files.
  • An attacker is using your computer to attack others.
  • An attacker is stealing your credit card information and making unauthorized purchases.

There is no guarantee that even with the best precautions, some of these things won’t happen to you, but there are steps you can take to minimize the chances.

Steps such as:

  • Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software and keep them updated
  • Do not visit untrusted websites or follow links provided by unknown or untrusted sources.
  • Enabling Two-factor authentication wherever applicable
  • Using different passwords for each system/account. Passwords should be a minimum of 12+ characters long, and they should be changed passwords every month.
  • Attending Cyber Security Awareness sessions

Rizwan Shaikh
CTO of Pristine InfoSolutions (HackTech Solutions WLL)

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