The first thing I do when I wake up every morning, is to check my online sources. Be it whatsapp, faceook, twitter, news sites and well mail.
Truth is, we are living in a world where Internet has become a basic necessity. No data bundle for 2 hours and I have a migraine. I simply just can not live without the internet. The way it has hijacked our lives makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for us to fully avoid it. At lwast not me and few other friends of mine. If its not you then observe your children or siblings. So how safe are we on the internet? How secure is our information and our privacy as people? Everyday I see a lot of innocent people in different whatsapp groups being made fun of. I see people's private conversations become a group topic. I get all sorts of emails from services I did not opt in to.
This has raised new questions regarding the privacy and security of people as a safe internet seems to be nothing more than a myth.
Are we doomed that there is no way out? What if this safe internet myth becomes a reality? As it turns out, this particular myth can be made a reality so I hear. Now let’s look at some of the different ways we can make the Internet safer not only for ourselves but also for our families.
Please, when you are online, keep Your Eyes Open!
You should be extra careful while browsing online. Do not open unauthorized links and ignore pop-up windows that request you to visit a particular website. In the same way, avoid replying to emails received from any unknown email address. Also, be very careful while downloading apps from even the official app stores as many of the apps therehave malicious codes embedded in them. Take it from me. Avoid installing apps that require fishy permissions like access to your text messages, call logs, gallery, etc. You should also avoid using public networks as they are a home to malware. Also, these open and insecure networks are a hunting ground for hackers, who use them for data theft.
Stay Under the Radar
I know I am personally very guilty of this but, do not share your contact details, bank information, credit card number, etc. on any website unless you are sure that your safety is not at risk. You must also avoid sharing your personal photos and videos on social media or any other platform as hackers and cyberbullies are always in search of such information so that they can use it against their targets. Advise your little ones to do the same as their recklessness doesn’t just put them in danger, it also takes a toll on your security. (Sounds like common sense right? That's why it is so easy to not think about it).
Use Third-Party Tools
You may also use third-party tools to keep yourself and your kids protected online. There are various apps that keep a record of Skype chat, messages, call logs, email logs, pictures, videos, and much more. You can install them on your kid’s devices to make sure they are exercising due caution in cyber space. These apps not only protect kids from cyberbullying and data theft, but also keeps them away from inappropriate content on the web by saving and later letting you view their internet browsing history. Most of these apps offer remote monitoring, allowing you to follow your kid’s digital footsteps from anywhere. These apps can also be used to track their location with or without using GPS. You may install them on your device as well. This will help you in finding your device if it ever gets lost or stole too.
Few months ago I lost my ZTE Maven Z812 which I was able to track from the time it was switched on. I was able to send a message to the phone and after no action from the person who had it, I wiped all the content remotely. Thus helped in protecting my data from being abused. I later on tracked the phone even after it was formatted.
We all know that Mobile Phones are becoming more as a part of human life. Rather than simply helping us do our tasks mobiles are like our companion.
All our photos, endless chats, messages and everything we consider important are in our mobiles. Our mobiles act more like a repository of our data. But we are not sure whether our Android Mobiles are safe from the preying eyes of hackers or not.
Tips to protect our Android devices.
Update your Android Phone regularly:
In our busy lives, we consider updates useless. But each update of the app or Rom comes with a lot of security patches and bug fixes that makes your phone more secure and faster too. So don’t forget to do the software updates regularly. Simply set auto-update option in Google Play Store and in your mobile settings to get Rom updates. The data that you are saving is not worthy the trouble of having your security compromised.
Encrypting important data using Folder Lock:
Encrypting your data makes it difficult for hackers to easily access it. Encryption makes the files unable to open without correct password. There are a lot of apps available in the Google Play Store for this purpose. Make sure you use a long password to make your data more secured.
Most of the things we do online may look simple until when we are hit harder. So as the old age saying goes, "prevention is better than cure", do what is most important for you.
Wishing you safe browsing and please, stay connected and safe always
Dennis Imaan is a Global Citizen born and currently staying in Malawi. He loves to share his experiences and lessons with others. Travel, Tourism, Innovations, Media and Youth development are close to his heart.