The digital age has brought us unprecedented convenience, but it also comes with its own risks. While a treasure trove of information and connectivity, the internet can also be a playground for those with malicious intent. It’s crucial to be aware of these risks and take appropriate measures to protect yourself and your family.

The Perils of Personal Information

Before you hit that ‘post’ button or send an email, take a moment to think. The internet is a public space; anyone can see anything you share. Sharing personal information with strangers is one of the biggest online risks.

It’s essential to be cautious about sharing sensitive information such as your address, phone number, family member’s name, and financial details. Consider removing your name from websites that share your personal information obtained from public records.

The Hidden Dangers of Photos

Did you know that smartphone photos embed the GPS Coordinates in the photo? This means anyone can know where the picture was taken and potentially find you. Be aware of this when posting photos to online social media sites.

Emails, Phishing, and Malware

Be wary when opening emails from unknown people or sources. Clicking on links or downloading attachments can infect your computer with a virus or subject you to fraud, malware, or a scam.

Some viruses harm your computer, while others can steal your personal information and your identity. Be skeptical when receiving emails that look like they came from your bank or other financial institution, particularly if they ask you to verify or enter personal or financial information.

The Importance of Website Legitimacy Checks

A website that looks legitimate can be set up quickly. It’s crucial to check if the website is legit before sharing any personal information. Legitimate customer service representatives will never ask you for personal information or passwords.

Updates and Passwords

Keep your computer’s operating system, browsers, antivirus, and other software updated with the latest or daily security patches. Choose strong passwords using ten characters and combinations of upper case letters, lower case letters, symbols, and numbers.

Protect yourself and your family from online risks with these essential tips. Don't fall victim to scams, viruses, or identity theft. Stay safe in the digital age.

Social Interactions and Educating Children/ Teens

Be cautious of meeting people in person whom you meet on the Internet or through emails. Not everyone is honest with their identity, age, gender, and intentions. Talk to and educate your children about internet risks and dangers of internet predators.

Parental Controls and Webcams

Parents should consider applying parental controls by their internet service provider and/ or blocking software on family computers and smartphones to limit the internet to safe websites. Be careful when using webcams. They can be high-jacked and turned on remotely.

Wireless Networks, Shopping, Selling, and Public Computers

Be cautious when connecting your laptop or mobile device to unsecured networks. Avoid purchasing goods and services from websites that do not have secure check-out using “HTTPS.” Be wary of selling and listing items in local ads or elsewhere online. Avoid typing sensitive information on public computers.

By being aware of these risks and taking the necessary precautions, you can ensure that you and your family can enjoy the benefits of the internet safely.

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