Man, the internet is amazing! You can meet so many awesome people and have such a wonderful time! You can find the best deals for dinner and get the best prices on your everyday essentials, and…
Meet creepy strangers who convince you they’re your friend.
Even serial killers can be hidden on the other side of the great information highway.
Whether the internet inspired me to write Fantasy Girl, or maybe because I wrote a book about a woman who’s being stalked through the internet, I’ve always sort of kept my eye on scams and internet dangers, and I decided to write a short, simple list of basic online safety tips.
They’re pretty simple, easy to do, and really, we all probably do most of these anyway, but it never hurts to remember them on occasion. (Some are taken from McAfee’s blog)
- Change that password! Really! And don’t use the same one for everything. Mix it up. Use phrases, names, numbers, and symbols. There’s no law against having your password be a sentence, either. That works too.
- Log out of things. Yeah, it can be a pain in the butt, but no one’s going to post weird crap on your Facebook if you’re logged out, are they?
- Think before you click. Never click on links in messages from people you don’t know or vaguely know. Phishing emails have links that lead to websites that can lure you into giving personal information Even be wary with emails from people you do know. Hackers can create a malicious email that looks like it came from your best friend’s email account.
- Be careful where you shop online. It’s really easy to mis-type that domain you’re wanting, and wind up at a look-alike site that’s run by hackers who are just trying to get your personal information.
- Speaking of that–don’t give personal information out. Ever, if you can help it.
- Only enter credit card information in online if it’s from a reliable site (That green padlock in the corner means it’s secure). If you’re not sure, use a gift card or a reloadable credit card, or a site like Paypal to protect your information.
- Keep your computer and mobile devices up to date. Those updates may be a pain to run sometimes, but they’re only being done to protect you.
- Know the scams–and not just online. Even telephone scams can pop up occasionally, and sometimes they can be quite convincing. You have virus protection on your devices, read their blogs. They usually report them on their blogs.
- Back up your stuff. Using multiple locations to backup your data is always good. I use several myself, and it has been quite nice to know if I’m working on a book and my system crashes, the worst I may lose is a day of writing.
- And lastly, please, just use your head. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Find out what happens
when you’re not careful online.
A madman lurks between the pixels.
Click to check out Fantasy Girl.