Whether you consider yourself tech-savvy or not, it is imperative that you prioritize safeguarding your online activity. Unfortunately, many of us tend to overlook the lurking danger known as “Online Predators.”
The internet, as we all know, is a double-edged sword. It offers immense benefits, but it also exposes us to risks. With a staggering 85.2% of Kenya’s population having internet access, it is high time—assuming you haven’t already—to incorporate some cyber safety measures into your online defense arsenal. Allow me to share a few valuable tips on how you can effectively protect yourself in the vast realm of the internet:
- Set strong passwords.
A strong password is at least eight characters in length and includes a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
- Shop safely.
Before shopping online, make sure the website uses secure technology. When you are at the checkout screen, verify that the web address begins with https. Also, check to see if a tiny locked padlock symbol appears on the page.
- Secure your internet connection.
Always protect your home wireless network with a password. When connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, be cautious about what information you are sending over it.
- Watch out for phishing scams.
Phishing scams use fraudulent emails and websites to trick users into disclosing private account or login information. Do not click on links or open any attachments or pop-up screens from sources you are not familiar with.
- Keep personal information personal.
Hackers can use social media profiles to figure out their passwords and answer those security questions in the password reset tools. Lock down your privacy settings and avoid posting things like birthdays, addresses, etc. Be wary of requests to connect with people you do not know.
- Read the site’s privacy policies.
- Keep your computers and mobile devices up to date.
Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats. Turn on automatic updates so you receive the newest fixes as they become available.
- Build your reputation through your behavior
Contribute to your positive, professional digital footprint by posting only those things that contribute to the image of you that you want your bosses, banks, or professors to see. Skip the negative tweets, “un-tag” yourself from questionable Facebook photos, and keep critical comments to yourself. Instead, build a positive reputation by starting a blog or website that showcases your work or a hobby about which you’re passionate.
Don’t underestimate the significance of your digital footprint—it’s an integral part of your identity. Safeguarding it is crucial. By taking these precautions, you can maintain control over your digital identity and reduce the risk of falling victim to online threats or having your personal information misused.