The internet since it’s inception plays a major role in our society. Many businesses and companies rely on the web for the prosperity of their work. Individuals use it to connect with others globally, find relevant information, ease their lives. Despite being counted for numerous benefits, the internet also possesses a darker side which is as dangerous as the positive one is beneficial. Most of us do are not aware of the harm poor online practice can cause. That is where scammers and defrauders celebrate. Below, are listed the things that should be avoided and can land an innocent internet user becoming Mark.
1. Providing Your Personal Information To Unauthenticated Sources.
The first and most important thing, never provide your personal information like passwords, credit card info, phone number, address, etc. to sources which are unauthenticated and do not appear to be professional. This type of cyber crime is called Phishing. Phishing is a method to collect personal information of users by deceiving. Hackers usually make a fake homepage of some reputed website and obtain your ID and password from there. They can also send E-mails and propose a person to reveal his/her information. According to research, 85% organizations have been the victim of phishing attacks.
- Always be careful while using your information on the internet.
- Check links of website demanding personal information, Microsoft would never use pop up advertising to check your computer.
- Do not become greedy over some persuasive offers, if it sounds too good to be true, probably it is.
2. Downloading Applications That Capture Unnecessary Information From Users.
The applications you download from AppStore and PlayStore asks for permissions before the downloading process initiated. Most of the reputed apps have access to your contacts, call logs, text messages and even microphone. It means when you are talking with someone with your phone placed near you, the company of the app can hear what are you saying that person. This is the most extreme form of privacy violations. A lot of companies have been sued and fined for collecting users’ data through such privacy breaches. Below is an example of a game that grabs your unnecessary information.
What game has to do with SMS and Microphone? Most of the people do not read the permissions and download the app in a hurry. Thanks to Android 5.0 (and higher); you can manually disable the permissions from settings after downloading the app.
If we get enough shares for this article we will make explainer article how to do it on android and iPhone.
3. Stealing content for commercial use.
If you are a website owner, blogger and any other content creator, or planning to do so, this is for you. Many people who want to jump in some online content creation like making a YouTube channel etc. make a horrible mistake of stealing content from other sources and posting them online from their side. This can range from several copyrighted pictures to a whole article.
Most of companies and organizations working online have their materials copyrighted to avoid piracy. 98.8% data transferred through a peer-to-peer network is copyrighted. If a company finds you posting their content without their permission might sue you. This can cost an enormous amount of time and money. Often social networks support such activities using loopholes in law for their competitive benefit. After Facebook had decided to punish YouTube content for the benefit of their video, plenty of the original content was downloaded from YT to Facebook without mechanisms to protect creators.
- Always post your original content which is 100% created by you.
- Say no to plagiarism.
- Always check work for originality.
- Only use correctly licensed products.
4. Using Public Wi-Fi.
A lot of people feel overjoyed when they find a free Wi-Fi out there in public. Behind that free Wi-Fi usually are hackers who are avidly trying to fetch information from phones. They can monitor your activities and can spy on you. They can also inject a malware in your phone and leave you helpless. Stats reveal that 60% consumers think using Public Wi-Fi is riskier than using a Public Restroom.
- If using public Wi-Fi is necessary, do not log in to password protected websites like social media sites and banking sites on the Public Wi-Fi
- Use Virtual Private Network (VPN) to encrypt your data and save your data being vulnerable to danger.
- Keep software on your devices updated to avoid injection of malware.
- Public Wi-Fi should be used only in emergency situations keeping in mind the precautionary terms.
5. Responding to persuasive E-mails.
Scammers are everywhere. They randomly send compelling E-mails with misleading titles such as “Hey, you are among the five others who have won a cash price of $1,000.” If you receive any E-mail with such impressive titles, do not panic and fall prey to the scam.
One should not even reply to persuasive E-mails like these as scammers behind this flag your E-mail address as active and spread it around their circle, and you might be scammed again in the future. According to reports, spam makes 45% of all E-mails. Stunningly, scams and frauds make up only 2.5% of all spam E-mails. On the other end, identity theft (Phishing) is 75% of scam E-mails.
- If you receive a scam E-mail, immediately put the E-mail in the Spam folder and block every E-mail from that address in the future.
- Remember, there is no shortcut to success. Do not believe in such greedy offers.
- Time from time check your spam folder for emails that might be lost, some companies use poor email practices, and emails sent from legitimate businesses get blocked as well.
6. Joining arguments on social media.
This is a serious issue and more common nowadays. People select a trending topic and start arguing about it with individuals from different communities across the globe. This may sound attractive to an open-minded person but is very dangerous if observed intensely. Everything online stays online, something you had said years ago will be stored so before you say, think. Would this affect you or your family in the future?
The Earth is home to people from different communities, who follow different traditions and have different thoughts. If you post something on social media in light of an argument, it could hurt somebody’s feelings and thoughts. Or one may think that his particular community is targeted. So he may come up against you, and this gives birth to Cyber-bullying.
To stand for your views is fine, to support someone you believe is OK, but unless you are a member of 4chan, it is impossible to spread the message without consequences. If you do want to join the argument, treat it as the debate and talk about the issues, not a particular person.
Riots may personally threaten you. There are thousands of cases where a person’s life was taken because of speaking up on something online.
Above all, one must use the internet decently and straightforwardly. Any misleading path will provide great harm.
Online safety should be thought for the new adopters of the technology. Everything etiquette and best practices are something many came accustomed to, but those who know the true way need to share that knowledge with others. Be cautious but don’t become paranoid, web offers way more benefits than a possible harm it can cause.