How to prevent the theft of personal information on the Internet?

Theft of personal information on the Internet

Safe Internet Day is celebrated every February 5. In connection with this date, we share with you a series of tips to help you learn how to protect your information while surfing the web.

To get information, play, shop, work, study, connect with friends and family. For this and much more you can use the internet.

To chat, research, watch videos, download photos and see places without having to get on an airplane. For this and much more you use the internet.

According to a recent Microsoft survey of 16,000 people around the world about the impact of technical support scams, it turned out that young people are the most vulnerable and most affected by these types of problems. Young people are more likely to engage in risky online behaviors and lose money after continuing an interaction.

That’s why to commemorate Safer Internet Day and curb this trend, we share with you this guessing game (with a guide included) to help you learn how to stay safe online.

In addition, follow these eight simple steps that will help you to be always alert and able to take advantage of all the benefits while avoiding the risks to which you are exposed while surfing the web.

  1. Use complex and unique passwords for different accounts

It’s simple: if someone has the keys to your house, they can come in and raid every room in your home.

This also applies to passwords and online accounts. Constantly, we choose passwords that are easy to remember, such as the pet’s name, birthday date, or best friend’s phone number.

In addition, if your pet’s name is your email and social network password, accessing your personal information will be an easy task.

We recommend that you use a password manager to securely store multiple passwords for different accounts. This will ensure that each one is complex: use at least 10 characters and a mixture of numbers, letters, capital letters and special characters.

Don’t accept invitations from strangers on social networks.

Just as parents tell their children not to accept candy from strangers on the street, know that you shouldn’t accept the invitation of anyone who shows up with a trusted nickname on the Internet: not everyone is who they say they are.

It is common for cybercriminals to create fake profiles on social networks to encourage relationships with unwary users and steal their cyber pockets, or worse.

And you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure it out. It’s elementary. If a stranger approaches you online and insists on the sharing of personal information, or if you are more daring and ask for money, turn on your alarms.

If possible, look for the person directly to see if the count is authentic. And if you’re still not sure about that person’s identity but still want to accept their friend request, limit the information the person can see in their profile from the privacy settings and accept. But be cautious.

  1. Online Actions Have Real-World Consequences

It is not only in small towns that everyone knows the lives of their neighbours. It happens on the Internet, too. Think of the web as a major square or a sidewalk: it is a public space where everyone can see or share anything you post, regardless of whether it is addressed to them or if you gave your permission.

Before you post anything online, ask yourself if you would like your boss, client or family member to know that. Even things like your sentimental situation or your home address, which may seem harmless, can be misused if the wrong people see them.

  1. Protect sensitive and personal information

Don’t rely on the “delete” or “delete publication” option, online sharing never really disappears. With some exceptions, unfortunately there is no permanent delete key for content published on the web.

Any image, comment or photo you post on the internet is likely to stay there forever. Even if you delete the original publication, you can’t be sure that others haven’t made copies or shared their content on other networks. So don’t line up something you wouldn’t want others to see.

  1. Be careful where you click

A proven tactic used by cybercriminals is to trick you into downloading malware that allows them to steal information. From a popular game to a technical support offer via email, malware can be disguised in a variety of different ways.

Avoid downloading applications that seem strange or come from an unknown site. Some details that will help you detect malware are: impersonal greetings, misspellings, nonsense wording, strange request for urgency, among others.

If you are still not sure, contact the brand or company through their official channels such as their website or a social networking page. It is always better to check several times than to run the risk of compromising your safety.

  1. Update your privacy and anti-virus settings

If you don’t update your defenses, eventually cybercriminals will find a way to overcome them. Make sure you are up-to-date with updates to your operating system and make an effort to review the privacy settings in the applications and browsers you use.

  1. Always use a secure connection

When using a public Internet connection, such as Wi-Fi in a shopping mall, keep in mind that you will not have direct control over your security.

If you can’t establish a secure connection or aren’t sure your device is protected, don’t share sensitive information. What’s more, wait for it to connect securely to share information – the world won’t end if you disconnect for a few hours from your device.

  1. Seek advice from people you trust

Don’t feel pressured to click on a link or to post something. There’s nothing more urgent than your online security. Navigating threats on the web can be stressful, but there are many resources that can help you.

When you find yourself in a situation where you are unsure or suspicious of something, always wait to rely on the experience of the people you trust, whether it is a friend, relative, teacher or even a technology partner.

Globally, 63% of online risks come from strangers and people victims only know online according to an online life study conducted by Microsoft to measure attitudes and perceptions of teens and adults in 22 countries. On the other hand, the main risks detected in Colombia have to do with receiving offensive or obscene content, consulting false news and deception.

According to this research, these experiences, which sometimes happen to people because of their personal characteristics, gender, age and physical appearance, come from the same social circle as the victims and can have a negative impact both inside and outside the Internet.

For this reason, it is important that you are aware of the impact your online interactions can have and adopt a behavior that allows you to have a positive, safe and healthy experience.

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