Simple Ways to Protect Yourself on Line
Keeping it Simple
Many users do not realise how 'dangerous' being online is.
Many believe the "You Won!' blurbs, participate in online games where they can 'earn' , and answer emails from people they don't know and put themselves at risk.
I offer a few tips which are common sense, and easy. They merely require a little thought, a little creativity, and an awareness that people may not be who and what they seem.
For example, forget those photos... how do you know that is a real image of the person you met online? I can post an image of anyone and claim it is me.
Forget those stories you are told about this country or that city, even checking an I.P. may not be full disclosure as one can use a proxy.
You can't know who you are communicating with.
Very simply, with use of the Dark Web, I can make it seem I'm posting from Germany, use the image of a 20 year old blonde beauty, claim to be model and start a flirtation with you.
How would you know I'm lying?
So have a little doubt in your mind at all times.
Yes, you want to have a site where your family and friends can contact you. You want a business email where you can send and receive business information. Maybe the two can be the same, but it is wiser to keep them separate.
In the same way, when you join any site, be it Facebook, be it a writing site, you create a new email account and don't use your real name.
Use a name which does not display your gender nor your status or location.
This is because many sites sell your information.
When your information is sold, you will receive everything from spam to scam, to 'sexy Russian girls' to malware deposits. Anything a mind can imagine will arrive in that new email account.
In your real account, when you get an email from someone you don't know, you should not open it. The same, of course, in business. Don't open it.
If it is real, you'll get a follow up; a phone call or some explanation. If it is a scam, you've protected yourself.
As you use a fictional name in your busy online account, the amount of spam it will collect will make you aware of how much evil is out there.
When you scan the spam, as it were, you will be alert to anything like that in your real account.
For example, you have an account in a fake name. You receive an 'urgent' message "Your package is ready.." Now this is obviously a scam.
When you receive the same email in your real account you know it is a Scam and delete unopened.
Suppose you used a name like Day Light.
When you start getting all those Viagra offers, all those 'You Won!' all those; "Blessing to you, I am from the Nigeria treasury", they might as well be tied with a bow, because you KNOW these are scams, spam and rip off.
Every site you join, whether publishing, whether message board, whether social network, use your false name. In this way, I may know the person who uses Day Light as their nick, as I have coffee with her at Aladin, but you don't know if Day Light is a man, woman, white, black, in China or Curacao.
No scammer, spammer, or malware can successfully target Day Light, because there is nothing in that email account that isn't a notification from a writing site, message board, or social network.
And nothing unknown will be opened.
Walking Naked Down Mainstreet
Facebook has become the pond in which scammers fish. They stroll about, looking for that fool who posts photos, uses her real name, shows you her lovely car and its sparkling licence plate, that nice new home she bought, and oh! Her kids.
Now how easy is it for one to break into that home, steal that car, and grab those kids?
I have few friends on Facebook. These are people I have coffee with, attend their weddings. That does not mean they are the only people who will meet me.
I respond to Airdog's post, so does nine other people I don't know. They respond to my post. They can go to my home page, and read everything on it. For there is nothing personal on it.
I don't want to go into details, but considering my image is not me, and I keep all personal stuff off the front page, especially photographs, it is not likely anyone who I don't have coffee with at Aladin knows who I am.
If you deal with everything with that blob of doubt, if you police your social network, if you delete emails unopened from people you don't know, you are giving yourself a chance.
You are not likely to fall for scams sent to your false name, because that person doesn't exist. You are not likely to be targeted on Facebook, because who knows who you are, where you are?
Although these tips seem common sense....they are uncommon.