4 Things you should never do online

4 Things you should never do online


Are you sharing your life with over three billion people online? Believe it or not, that’s what most people are doing whenever they use the internet and post something on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media sites.

Instead of keeping their personal information safe and secure, many individuals choose to brag about their new car, home, job promotion, and other juicy details that don’t belong next to a friend’s cute cat video.

This can bring about dire consequences, according to Stephanie Carruthers, a “white hat” hacker who goes by the name of Snow and whose clients include Fortune 100 companies and startups. She said that information shared online can be used by hackers to commit crimes.

“What should people never do on social media? Post without thinking. Period. Before you post something, ask yourself these questions: What information am I putting online? What is in the background of my image? If I wanted revenge on myself ― how would I use this information against me?” Carruthers explained.

To protect yourself from cybercriminals, here are four things you should never do online:

1. Believe questionable posts and videos

At first glance, you’ll find that the internet is full of amazing discoveries, talented people, and unique information. Unfortunately, more than half of what’s online isn’t true. There’s a lot of garbage out there that can fool you into giving out your contact details, credit card numbers, and other important information. Don’t be the next victim.

In today’s digital age, it isn’t hard to create a convincing hoax or fake story. With the right copy and a cool video, you can easily make millions of people believe that a celebrity has died, a dinosaur has been resurrected, there’s a cure for terminal cancer, and Earth is flat.

One video that has over 15 million views claims that drilling a hole in your iPhone 7 will uncover a hidden headphone jack. Of course, that’s not true, but the video has fooled a good number of people into destroying their iPhones!

Another recent hoax says that Facebook recently changed its privacy policy and all your pictures, posts, and messages will become public. This has angered a lot of people who tried to change their privacy settings until they realized too late that the post wasn’t real.

It may be difficult to separate fact from fiction in social media, but always remember that if something is too good to be true, it probably is! You can also do a quick internet search to check the facts.

2. Use the same password for different sites

In the old days, creating a password was easy. It was usually taken from your birthday, the name of your favorite pet, the numbers 1 to 6, or your best friend’s name. While some people still stick to the old ways, putting them at risk, passwords nowadays are a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters.

These complex passwords are safe, provided you don’t use the same one at different sites. However, remembering all those unique passwords can be difficult. The solution: Try using something like “ilovecaesarssaladandrootbeerfloat” or other variations. This is hard to guess and will drive hackers crazy!

Or better still, why not use a reliable password manager like LastPass? Just save your password once and it’s available on all your devices. That way, you don’t have to memorize all those difficult passwords you created.

3. Not take advantage of two-factor authentication

“Two-factor authentication” may sound like a mouthful of Greek salad, but it simply means you’ll be asked two ways to prove who you say you are. It’s like presenting two forms of identification to access your bank account. By doing so, no one can get hold of your account if someone knows your password.

Some sites may require your smartphone number so they can send you additional access codes, or your email address to send you a link to click and confirm your identity. This is being used by many companies, like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Apple. Isn’t it about time you did the same?

4. Share a lot of information

Sharing photos of your new dog or pet hamster is acceptable, but pouring out details of your life is a no-no online. It’s not safe to post close-up pictures of your new driver’s license or ID that contains your age, date of birth, and home address.

Neither is it acceptable to show photos of your new house key or the inside of your home. The former can be copied, while the latter can tell burglars how to break into your abode.

Employees should also be prohibited from taking selfies at the office since the foreground or background of these pictures may contain sensitive information on whiteboards, computer monitors, or walls. For people who like to brag by posting pictures of their paychecks, they are only inviting criminals to rob them!

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