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Easy and practical online safety tips

today24 January 2024 377 2

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In a world dominated by digital screens and endless scrolling, it’s easy to lose track of time while scrolling, trolling, Uber-ing, and posting dance-toks. One crucial question often takes a back seat – are we prioritizing our online safety? Nothing can dampen the digital experience quite like falling victim to cyber threats and hacks.

In this article, we’ll delve into some easy and practical ways to protect ourselves from the ever-present risks posed by suspicious characters lurking in the vast online landscape.

Strong passwords and two-factor authentication

Now hear me out, this might sound like a schlep or like something only our parents have to do, but the amount of times I’ve seen people lose their Insta and TikTok accounts this year has been a lot. One of the simplest yet effective ways to enhance internet safety is by using strong, unique passwords. Avoid using easily guessable information like your name/nickname or birthdate. Instead, create complex passwords with letters, numbers, and special characters. Remember to use different passwords for each online account to minimize the risk of multiple accounts being compromised.

Be mindful of the access Social Media gives to others

While sharing your plans and photos on social media is tempting, exercise caution when revealing personal information, such as your location and how long you will be at that location. Adjust your privacy settings to control who can see your posts and avoid publicly sharing sensitive details like your address or travel plans. Even if you’re at a well-attended event where you feel relatively safe, be aware that posting about your every move can make you a target for human trafficking and similar activities. Have fun, but keep your head at all times.

Be mindful of cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is a concerning issue that we easily perpetuate or fall victim to. Be aware of your online behaviour and treat others with respect and kindness. If you witness or experience cyberbullying, report it to the appropriate platform and seek support from trusted adults or helplines, including the one available via I Am Youth. Remember, creating a positive online environment starts with each individual’s actions.

Keep what’s meant to be private, private

This should go without saying, but be intentional about what you share online, specifically when it comes to content sharing. Unfortunately, once a private photo or video goes online, you cannot control where it ends up and how it is used. Do not share intimate, explicit, or suggestive content if someone is forcing or gaslighting you into doing it. Report, block, and restrict anyone soliciting or sharing adult content from or to you.

As we embrace the joys of the internet, let’s not forget the importance of remaining safe and keeping the online environment safe for others. Making friends online is a win, but always do thorough research and avoid meeting strangers alone and in isolated areas. And lastly, many trends are cool but don’t always age or end well.

Be discerning and stay informed.

Written by Kabelo Milton.

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and not I Am Youth.

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