The technological era has brought us many fantastic innovations, such as social media, online buying, and remote learning. However, as always with the good, the bad is sure to sneak up on us as well!
By now you have most probably fallen victim to some sort of cybercrime. In this article, we are going to discuss exactly what cybercrime entails and provide a few steps you can take to protect yourself.
What is cyber crime?
Cybercrime is a malicious act that is committed by using a computer. Cybercriminals use computers to commit crimes, such as identity theft, fraud, and theft of personal or financial information.
You may be of the opinion that you are insignificant and therefore not a good target for cybercriminals, but, oh, this is wishful thinking. Most people have been, or know of someone that has been a victim of a cybercrime. Maybe your Facebook has been hacked or you’ve been a victim of cyberbullying.
These are all crimes and you may be more exposed than you realise.
What can I do to protect myself against cyber crimes?
There are several things you can do to personally protect yourself against cybercrimes:
1. Keep your software up to date.
Did you know that outdated software can be vulnerable to attacks? Have a look at the software updates on your mobile phone as well as on your computer and update it frequently.
2. Set strong passwords
Yes, we know, this is a tough one! However, a strong password can make a huge difference. Have a look at this informational article. The author states that your standard 8 character password can be cracked within 7 minutes! A very interesting read and something to keep in mind if you want to ensure the protection of your personal information.
3. Check your social media privacy settings
Always. Check. Your. Privacy. Settings.
We cannot stress this enough! When you sign up for a social media platform, go through the settings and locate the privacy settings.
Here are a few things to look out for on the most popular platforms:
WhatsApp: Make sure your “Live Location” setting is turned to “None”. Obviously, there might be some cases where this function could be useful, but most people find this quite intrusive. Opinions on privacy settings may differ from person to person, but have a look and decide which settings suit your personal preferences best.
Instagram: You can set your Instagram profile to “private” if that is your preference. We recommend this especially if you’re still a minor. Other settings you can review is whether others may tag you or comment on your posts.
Facebook: This may be tricky to find. On Facebook’s latest update, go to your Settings & Privacy > Settings > Privacy. Here you may find a few topics. Go through them and once again make decisions that you are comfortable with.
4. Review your privacy settings on a regular basis.
From the short “WhatsApp ban” of a few months ago, we have learned that sometimes social media platforms update their privacy settings and they don’t even let their users know. Often, these changes are enhanced safety measures to protect your private information from being stolen.
However, this is why it is important to go through your privacy settings regularly to ensure that you use the latest privacy settings and that you are not vulnerable to new attacks.
5. Make use of two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication is an extra safety measure to ensure that only you can access your accounts.
How does two-factor authentication work?
Whenever you try to log into your account, you will receive an SMS with a code to enter in order to access your account. This may seem like a lot of extra work, but your phone is with you all the time anyway, and it will only take an extra 20 seconds to ensure your online safety.
General tips to survive the internet:
- Don’t be afraid to report and block others! If an account seems suspicious, report it. If someone is harassing you in any way, block them.
- If something seems too good to be true, then it’s probably a scam.
- Never give your private information to anyone! If the person claim caling from your bank really is from your bank, they should have your details on file, not asking you for it!
- Don’t go around clicking on every link that crosses your path, especially in message chains about winning a brand new Hilux! These are almost always a scam and a way to gather information from you, such as your name, email, number and sometimes even your ID number.
Stay tuned for more!
In the future, we will cover much more than just a few safety tips. If there is a topic you’d like to learn more about, don’t hesitate to let us know!