Just How Safe Are You When You Go Online?
By Megan Valente
I’d say that my bed is easily my favorite place in the world. It’s where I get a lot of my work done, a good night’s sleep, and binge watch all of my Netflix. However, I’ve slowly come to realize over the years that I might not even be safe in my own room. People can remotely access all of your information that you unknowingly give out online, even if you’re innocently clicking away at your keyboard in the comfort of your own room. Take a few extra steps to stay safe this holiday season:
Keep your public life private. Yes it is ironic, but also extremely important. Someone can easily click onto your social media page and know everything about you and your family within the first 120 seconds. They can see your friends, where you went to school, your interests, and where/when you travel if you like to ‘check-in’ to places. Hmm, that’s not creepy at all.
Once upon a time, all of my passwords were the same. It wasn’t until I got an email from a company telling me someone was trying to hack my accounts that I realized how dangerous that was. A great method to create a good password is to come up with a sentence you’ll remember, but only use the first letter of each word. Now all of my passwords are unique and secure, Just make sure to write them down so you don’t forget them all like I did!
Apparently webcam hacking is a thing, but this scares me the least of all. Go ahead, hack into my webcam. All you’ll see is me aggressively staring at my screen for hours, writing a paper or crying about said paper. But if you do actually care about that sort of thing, webcam covers are sold and suggested. If you don’t want to spend the money on that, you can even use part of a sticky note. Pick a neon color to add some style to your safety!
You shouldn’t only be worrying about the unflattering double-chin photo you were tagged in last week. Someone can type your name at random into the search bar and find out what you look like, who your friends are (by who is in the photo), and countless other things about you. A picture is worth a thousand words, so make sure you know what those words say before posting anything online.
You know that little pop-up notice about a server not being secure on a w-fi network? Everyone I know quickly dismisses it so they can log onto their Facebook page faster, but it is indeed there for a reason. As much as I don’t care about someone seeing that I’m looking at pictures of dogs on public Wi-Fi, I do care when I pull things up with sensitive information. There is a time and a place for everything, so do your e-banking at home.
Are we really as safe as we would like to think? Don’t let someone steal your identity because you didn’t set some time aside to protect yourself. May your passwords be strong, your Wi-Fi secure, and your bed as safe as ever!
Megan Valente is a lifestyle blogger and barista and is currently attending Montclair State University. Follow her on Twitter at @TheDayILived