Of the myriad information technology advancements, the Internet remains the most popular one. It is our one-stop-shop for all the information and it facilitates communication at a very fast speed, all over the globe. However, like there are two facets to a coin, similarly, the Internet, apart from all its advancements, allows crime to widen its roots in all directions.
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Cyber Crime is a global phenomenon which hampers the privacy and security of a person online. Women are often the soft targets. There are people who are on the lookout for personal information, like passwords, bank details, etc. Apart from that women are often harassed, stalked and threatened in the virtual world.
Here are some steps which can keep you safe online to a great extent from such crimes and can help you build your protective cocoon online:
- Sensitive Browsing
We often use open networks in cafes and other places to log on to social sites or use our bank details to shop online or banking online. Cyber criminals are smarter than you think, once you put in your bank details or any passwords using such connections, they are copied in less than a second and you are robbed of your own hard money.
- Social Engineering
This may sound familiar to you. “Hi Susan, we are calling from ABC Ltd. And you have won a lottery ticket of a huge amount and we want to transfer them to your account, so kindly provide us with your bank account details.”
Beware; this is a trap for you to steal your bank details. Don’t get manipulated this way. You just have to spam these kinds of emails and avoid it at all costs.
- Spam Messages
Spam messages are easy to avoid. Just look out for words like ‘Message from RBI’ or ‘your help is required’, etc. You have to totally avoid them and don’t open such links.
- Strong Passwords
You need to set strong passwords for your online accounts which are difficult to crack. Also, try to use different passwords for every different online account. Set your passwords as per the password policy of the websites. Passwords should be alpha-numeric and have special characters. Simply, capital letters used in a password makes it more secure.
- Sign out Your Sessions
We are used to keeping our accounts logged in to our devices such as laptops and mobile phones. But this can also be a threat our cyber security. Always try to log out from your accounts and your bank logins on your devices.
- Security on Social Media
Everyone is fond of uploading their pictures on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other social sites, but be ware these images can be misused. We usually don’t bother to change the social account settings, which make it prone to crimes. To keep yourself from such threats, you should change your account settings from public to private. This way you can safeguard yourself from stalkers.
- Data Back-up
Keep your data (both offline as well as online) backed up. You can use either physical drives or online storage i.e. cloud storage. Your data will be safe if anything happens to your device/system.
- Websites Safety
There are a number of site safety extensions like McAfee Site Advisor that you should get on your browser. They warn you about the safety of the website you are browsing.
Don’t open a site with red indicator and use yellow indicated sites with great caution whereas green indicated are totally safe to use.
- I am always safe, It won’t happen to me
We usually have a casual approach to online safety, threats and cyber crimes. As a result we leave our security features unattended. We can have an overview of our security features and work on what we lacked before. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Email Splitting
It is advised that you do not use your professional email accounts to connect on social media. Keep them separate so that your official data stays safe. If you are using social media for commercial purposes, even then keep your professional email separate.
Last but not the least; Keep an eye on the privacy settings, avoid spam emails. There are no proper laws to report such crimes and women don’t feel free to report them. Most of all, remember, that prevention is better than cure. Be ready to fight this war against cyber crime.STAY SAFE ONLINE!!
Kirti Gupta is an intern with SheThePeople.TV