As more and more people use the Internet on a daily basis, cyber security is becoming a bigger problem. Vulnerable people such as children and the elderly are at risk of cyber security attacks. They may download an unsafe file, click a dodgy link or fall for a scam where they hand over personal information.
Being smart online is a great way to avoid these things. But cybercriminals are always changing the way they attack. And they are getting smarter at it so we need to be up to date with how to avoid them.
Here are some things you can do to be smart online.
How to stay safe online
- Never click links that you do not trust
- Do not give out personal information, passwords and bank details.
- Report any suspicious phishing emails.
- Look at the email address of a sender to ensure it is not fake.
- Check the URL before clicking or entering any information.
- Keep antivirus for Windows software up to date.
- Keep your webcam covered when not in use.
- Use a VPN.
- Turn your BlueTooth off when not in use.
- Secure your passwords.
- Use secure public Wi-Fi.
- Use secure passwords containing letters, numbers and special characters.
- Do not use the same password for everything.
Being aware of the security risks online is a great way to lower your risk, but often we can still be vulnerable to them even if we think we are tech savvy. I see myself as someone who knows how to stay safe online, yet one of my websites has been hacked a couple of times. Having your security breached online like that feels awful. I was subject to a pharma attack. The malware attack injected one of my websites with spam pages selling pharmaceutical products to get like to websites that sell them. Blogging is my full-time job, so it was devastating at the time. Thankfully I was about to get help from a security company who was able to restore my website for me.
Now I have my websites under full protection by the experts to prevent anything from happening again. It’s worth the money to know I am protected and if I do have a security breach, they will fix it for me.
Let’s take a look at some of the security risks that Bitdefender has to help you and your family stay safe online. There are many ways that Bitdefender can protect you, but here are 5 which I think are important.
Digital Identity Protection
Have you ever been followed by an account that looks like someone who already follows you? There’s a slight change in the username – an extra letter, a missing vowel or similar. This is social media impersonation, but what is social media impersonation?
This is where someone creates accounts pretending to be someone else in an attempt to get information or money out of someone. This is a common scam with competitions on Instagram, where someone will create a fake account and tell people they have won, but request information that leaves you open to fraud.
They also hack accounts and attempt to get followers who trust them to send information or money.
Bidefender protects you by alerting you to any private information that surfaces about you online.
Prevent hackers from accessing your Microphone and Webcam
Most of us have a phone, tablet and camera which a microphone and webcam. These things can be incredibly useful for work meetings or keeping in touch with friends and family, but they leave us open to Camfecting. This is where cybercriminals take control of a webcam and can turn it on, and off and take photos as they wish. They also often can disable the light which indicates it’s switched on – so the user remains unaware.
This is mostly done to get information for financial gain or can be a way to spy on certain companies.
There is also a common scam where hackers threaten to release intimate videos captured on your webcam unless you pay them in Bitcoin – though in these cases, they haven’t actually hacked your webcam and are just bluffing.
But whatever the reason for hacking is, you do not want your camera hacked, especially if you have children. Bitdefender alerts you whenever an app accesses your camera.
There are differing opinions on how much children should spend online and on devices, but one thing is for sure – using technology is important for them, for both educational and social reasons. But we need to supervise and limit our kid’s online activities.
You can manage your kid’s screen time, filter websites and track their location with Bitdefender.
Another tip I love about kids using the internet is to place a family computer in a communal area. Don’t allow them to have laptops in their room. This means you will see what they are doing online and gives them fewer opportunities to try and break any boundaries and rules you have put in place.
Anti-phishing and Anti-fraud
As already mentioned, phishing scams are on the rise. The Bitdefender Family Pack will block any website that is masquerading as a trustworthy one in order to steal financial data. It will also warn you when you visit any website that may be trying to scam you.
You can scan your computer to see if there are any security risks, such as out-of-date software which leave you open to an attack and see suggestions on how to fix it.
These are just 5 of the ways that Bitfender protects you and your family. Check out their website for more.