Just in the news recently was a hapless teen, whose photo on Facebook was downloaded without permission and used to advertise a bold show in a disreputable bar in the Metro. It was purely by accident that an acquaintance saw the picture and recognized the girl. Outraged, the girl and her parents filed a complaint, but then the damage has already been done. The picture of their daughter has been there for weeks plastered on a wall.
Kids, teens, and even adults see posting of photos online as fun, as a way to share themselves to other people. While there is nothing wrong with that per se, people should remember that other people have access to these photos and every other piece of personal information you post. Try it. Type your name in a search box and you’d see just how much on display your life is, easily accessible by a few letters and a click of the mouse.
Trend Micro recently conducted an online poll that surveyed more than 400 Filipinos. The survey revealed that parents top safety concerns are computer viruses (92 percent), malicious websites (90 percent), pornography sites (84 percent). Clearly, parents have not thought of the danger that can come from their own posts.
To help families keep themselves safe, especially the kids, here are several practices that they should make into a rule in their house.
1. POST ONLY WHAT IS NECESSARY.
Always keep in mind that what you post online can be seen by anyone, even if you delete them. In some cases, anything posted online will stay online permanently via online caches. As a rule, do not reveal too much personal information when posting. People can use that information to stalk you or steal your identity. Make sure that you also turn off your GPS and location as thieves can use this information to rob your house. Never reveal online that you are home alone, or that you have cash or other valuable items. That’s a robbery situation waiting to happen.
2. KEEP TABS ON THE SITES YOU AND YOUR FAMILY VISIT.
Check if the sites you’re visiting are trustworthy. Screen the contents of each site to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for viewing. Review each site’s security policies and see if they’re asking for too much personal information like your email address, your bank account number, or your credit card number. If they are, go to another site. There is bound to be a thousand more similar sites online. If you really need to get into the site, then have a dummy email address ready. Use that to sign in. Make sure though that when you create the email address, you do not reveal personal information.
3. DO NOT CLICK LINKS ANYWHERE.
Not every link you see is safe. Verify each one before you clicking links in messages or wall posts, even those your friends send. Hackers can hack into your friends’ accounts and use those to send messages. Be wary of links leading to sites that are blocked by your computer’s firewall. Those sites can steal information once they’re accessed.
4. LESSEN ACCESS FROM THIRD-PARTY APPS AND SERVICES LINKED TO YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS.
Third-party apps that have access to your social media accounts can view information that you or your contacts post. Social networks do not necessarily guarantee the security of the information posted on your profile, even when it is set to private.
5. SECURE YOUR PASSWORDS.
Use a unique, strong, and hard-to-guess password for each of your important accounts like email and online banking. Adding numbers, symbols, and mixed-case letters makes it harder for cybercriminals to guess your password. Change your passwords every quarter or if you can, every month. That way, it’ll be harder for hackers to get to your accounts.
For more information on internet safety for kids and families, “like” the Trend Micro Click Right Advocacy official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TrendMicroPHISKF