Everyone, who uses the internet has a social media profile of their own. Most people think it’s all in good fun and no harm can come from this. But what the average person doesn’t realize is that they are giving away sensitive information when you create a new profile.
Even if you stay outside of social media you can still put yourself in danger if you visit the wrong website or answer a bad e-mail. Staying safe online is hard work, but it’s something everyone should be doing.
If you don’t know where to start regarding your own online safety, here are six tips you should learn by heart.
- Sensitive information
Whenever you register a new profile on any social media platform you will be asked for a lot of information. Anything ranging from your real name up to your home address. Even if it seems harmless, you shouldn’t give up your privacy to register anywhere.
Your name, address, phone number, even your pictures are all important data that shouldn’t be shared unless it’s necessary. People go as far as sharing their data publicly – both to a private company and other users: this is something that should never be done, as it compromises sensitive information that can be used to potentially harm you later on.
- Strange sources
You should always stick to the websites you know when you are browsing the internet. More often than not, hackers make up fake websites so you give up your information – personal information or passwords – willingly, without knowing who you are sending it to.
There are millions upon millions of websites online, so it should come as no surprise there are a couple of bad apples on the internet. The best way to stay safe is to avoid any suspicious website, or better yet, stay within the ones you deem secure.
If you have no other choice but to risk your information on an unknown website, you should use an alternative email and use different contact information as well.
- Unknown email addresses
Just like strange links, you should avoid strange e-mails as well. Hackers will try to get your information this way too. If you receive an unknown e-mail from someone you don’t know out of the blue, it’s best to delete it and move on. Never download any attached files either.
You should be careful with e-mails you know as well: sometimes hackers will imitate popular websites’ e-mails and send them to you with a similar domain to the real site, hoping to get your user information. To keep yourself safe, stay away from strange e-mails and always double-check the e-mails you believe you know.
- Privacy Settings
Even if social media is a huge data risk, most people can’t resist the urge to have their profiles in the most popular platforms. Luckily for its users, the best social media websites have privacy settings you can make use of.
You should always keep your privacy settings as strict as possible: turn everything you upload off the public, make sure anyone can’t contact you without your approval and avoid accepting anyone you don’t know into your followers or friends list. Keep your social media private and let only people you know in real life see what you upload.
- Your location
Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and plenty of other social media websites have the option to tell people where you are when you upload a new picture. You should never, ever use it.
You might think it’s harmless, that you only let your friends know where you are. But hackers can get a hold of this information rather easy and before you know it, they know your routine: where you live, where you work, where you like to be in your free time. This is one of the worst scenarios possible for a person.
- Safe online shopping
Sometimes there we have no other option but to give away sensitive information. For example, when we shop through social media. Even though we don’t know who is on the other side of the transaction, we have to give away our name, phone number, address and sometimes bank information.
If you want to make sure you are not endangering yourself when you have to do this, you should use Spokeo phone number search.
Spokeo is a great website that could tell you anything you want to know about a person (overall background information). All you have to do is write down their name or phone number, and Spokeo reverse phone lookup may take care of the rest.
It’s a great tool to make sure you are not dealing with shady individuals and you are not in danger when dealing with strangers on social media.
Maguire Haigh is a marketing manager for Spokeo. He is interested in the latest technology trends, marketing strategies and business development. He also prefers traveling, exploring the world and meeting new people. Maguire has great experience in creating and editing articles on different topics.