There are more women online than men and as with crime on the streets, crime against women on the Internet is increasing. This doesn’t mean you need to shut down your social media accounts or stop shopping online. It means you need to take a few steps to stay safe on the Internet. Here are five easy but important things to know about online safety for women.
1. Create Strong Passwords
The first step to take is to make sure all of your passwords are strong. When you choose a new password, many sites will have a little meter that tells you the strength of the password. If not, you can find sites online that help you choose a strong password. Just make sure you use a reputable site for that.
2. Use Two Factor Authentication
You can apply two-factor authentication (2FA) on all of your social media and other online accounts. It adds another locked door that a hacker needs to enter. Along with user name and password, 2FA requires a PIN, security question, fingerprint or other authenticators. The type of authentication may change such as a PIN, zip code or fingerprint, or facial recognition, a smartcard or retina scans.
3. Download a Panic App
If you need to work late and often and find yourself walking to your car at night or if you travel a lot and are walking someplace you are not familiar with, you should consider a panic button app. With one click, these apps will immediately call the police and send them to your exact location. This is extremely useful because a 911 call may take up to six minutes to pinpoint your location before the police are dispatched but a panic app will immediately know what your IP address is.
4. Choose When to go Online
When you are staying in a hotel for a few days whether for a vacation or a business trip, don’t check into your social media accounts when you first arrive but wait until you are on your way home. Especially if you have a public account because the world will know that your home is unoccupied. Even if you are looking up seemingly innocent things like cosmetics or clothing, your location can be found.
5. Remember There Is no Privacy on the Internet
Be very careful about what you put online. There is no privacy online no matter what the website says. No one needs to ask you what is your IP address because it can be found by hackers. Even things such as comments and photographs that you have deleted can be found by hackers and stalkers as well as by law enforcement agencies. Your things may be on someone else’s computer or saved on other websites. Remember, data is sold, especially email addresses and you have no ideas where your data has gone.
To stay safe online, strengthen your passwords and be careful how you use social media. Keep close track of your friend list because people you don’t know could link you to things you don’t want to be associated with. It may seem like fun sharing everything with your friends, but your information could be accessed by hackers who spend their time looking for just such weak spots.
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