This is part I in a series of blog posts we have written about Internet Safety. You can check out the other articles in the series below.
Part II: You Graduated to Internet Safety 202
Online privacy and security is always in the news these days. As the world becomes more connected and everyone has a Facebook profile, your private information can be a single click away from falling into the wrong hands.
In this blog, we’ve compiled five internet safety tips for you. If you use Facebook a lot, shop online, read online news, or pretty much do anything online, we have you covered!
Tip 1. Make Purchases From Secure Websites
Before you enter your credit card information on any websites, be sure to look for the letters “https” at the front of the website’s URL link.
For example, when purchasing a FixMeStick, you should be on https://app.fixmestick.com/store/. The ‘HTTPS’ designation indicates the data sent between your browser and the website is encrypted which prevents hackers from being able to read it, especially your credit card information.
Tip 2. Beware of Online Scams
We’ve written extensively about online scams before. In fact, we’ve even made a quiz about online scams so you can find out how likely you are to fall for an online phishing scam.
Remember those phone calls you’d receive from people who claim they are from the IRS or if you are in Canada the CRA and demand you pay an outstanding fee? Online scams work in a similar way with most scammers pretending to be large companies like Microsoft or McAfee.
Believe it or not, here at FixMeStick we’ve even had scammers pretending to be our customer support line. To protect yourself, make sure the website you are visiting and the email address you are communicating with are legitimate. In our case, that is support.FixMeStick.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tip 3. Update Your Antivirus Program
Antivirus programs, like McAfee Total Protection, protect your computer from malicious software like viruses, trojans, spyware, and other malware. Since millions of viruses are released each day, virus databases are constantly being updated to include the latest known threats. When you update your antivirus, you’ll be protected from these. However, viruses are designed to sneak past your antivirus.
Today’s viruses sabotage the computers they infect, like a burglar who gets into your house and deactivates your security alarms. This makes it difficult to clean an infected computer with software programs, that’s why you also need the FixMeStick.
The FixMeStick can remove these viruses because it’s a plug-in USB device that scans your computer before it boots and before the infections are running.
Tip 4. Change Your Facebook Settings
You wouldn’t give out your personal information to a stranger on the street, so why would you give your information to a stranger online? Facebook used to be a place to share personal pictures and updates for your close family and friends. But these days, you never know how the data you post online can be shared with third parties, and result in identity theft.
You can control who can see and use your Facebook information by changing the Privacy Settings in your account. To start, go to your ‘General Account Settings’ and click on ‘Privacy’. Once here, you can choose who to share your posts and other information with. Things like your birth date should be kept private as it can be used for identity theft.
Another important setting to check for is your ‘App settings’. Do you have a Facebook app that you no longer use? Delete it right away as it can be recording your Facebook account information in the background.
Tip 5. Remember that Everything You Share Is Permanent
Remember that everything you post on the internet can come back to haunt you, as numerous politicians and celebrities have found out. Once a comment or image becomes public, anyone can make copies of it and repost them without your knowledge or consent.
Even if you are not famous, keep in mind that 70% of employers Google a candidate’s name online before making their hiring decisions, so think twice about what you post!