With billions using the internet daily, it’s important to remember that everyone’s intent online is different, and may not be in line with yours. People may not be who they say they are. So trusting blindly can get you in trouble, and sharing information can also get you in trouble.
In reality, there are social rules and guidelines that we follow so that we can all coexist peacefully. Those that don’t follow these typically exist along the outskirts of society. In the online world, things are a little different. Due to the rapid growth of the internet, full formal guidelines have not been established. Not surprising when you consider how many different ages, cultures and types of people use the internet – how do you even go about policing that?
9 Tips to avoid falling victim to shady online behaviours
As an expert in online security, BullGuard has crafted a short list of guidelines and recommendations to help you avoid engaging in or being exposed to risky or harmful online behaviour:
- Don’t open emails from people you don’t know
- Passwords need to be changed regularly, and must vary between sites
- Never share any personal information with anyone line
- Treat people with respect online; if you wouldn’t feel comfortable saying it to their face, don’t think about saying it online
- Ensure your browser is always updated
- Invest in a security suite, like the award-winning BullGuard Internet Security
- Review your privacy settings on social networking sites like Facebook on a regular basis
- Never bank on an unsecured network or WiFi Hotspot
- Learn the 10 “commandments” of internet etiquette.
There are cyberbullies out there too, and so it’s especially important to talk to your children about the dangers of the internet and teach them how to use it safely. Children under the age of 7 should never use the internet unattended, and those that are older should be given time limits, and given access to approved sites online.
Cyberbullying can be especially rough on children as they can’t escape the bullying – it is all consuming via the internet and harder for parents to spot. Make sure you’re checking their phones, and know who they spend their time talking to.
Hopefully these tips will help to keep you safe and think twice before downloading an unusual looking attachment or visiting that sketchy looking site that is asking for your credit card details or mobile number. And finally, to leave you with one golden rule, which actually works for everything in life, not just online behaviour: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
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