When you wish to safeguard your home, you lock the door. When you want to keep your bike safe from theft, you use a bike lock. You place your prized items in a safe to secure them. But how can you safeguard your online identity? To help keep you secure online, we put prepared a thorough internet safety handbook consisting of cybersecurity advice and best practices. Looking for information on a certain aspect of internet safety? To go to the relevant area, click on the buttons below.
Sections on Online Safety
What exactly is cybersecurity?
Life Stages and Online Security
Internet Safety Basics
Avoiding Online Identity Theft Avoiding Online Scams
This tutorial covers a wide range of cybersecurity problems, including several that most people overlook when thinking about online safety. We’re providing everything the ordinary internet user needs to know to keep secure online, from how to create a strong password to how to safeguard your identity while on vacation.
What exactly is cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is basically a catch-all phrase describing technology, policies, and processes intended to safeguard online data against unwanted access or misuse. Every day, people contribute to cybersecurity by following online safety advice and cybersecurity best practices. In this article, we’ll define cybersecurity and explain why it’s crucial. We’ll also discuss cybersecurity trends and numerous techniques for safeguarding online privacy and security.
Computer security and Online Safety Buzzwords You Should Know
It might feel like swimming through a lot of technical jargon while learning about cybersecurity and online safety. There are several cybersecurity keywords to be familiar with, but here are a few of the most prominent internet safety buzzwords:
Breach of Data A data breach is defined as any occurrence in which sensitive data or personal information is disclosed, stolen, or otherwise transferred. Scammers and hackers frequently target businesses such as banks and large retailers to get access to personal financial information, but data breaches may happen anywhere. Check out these links for more information on responding to data breaches.
Malware Malware is any harmful program that is designed to impair or infect the functioning of a device. Some spyware allows a hacker to remotely manipulate a gadget. Users may avoid infection by utilizing antivirus software and adhering to best practices in technology.
Back-ups Data backup entails preserving a copy of the data on a secondary storage device, such as an external hard drive. Many individuals also utilize cloud storage to keep online backups.
Storage in the Cloud The term “cloud” simply refers to internet networks and storage. Local storage, which includes your computer’s hard disk, is separate from cloud storage. When you save something to the cloud, it is simply saved on one of many distant servers spread around the globe.
What is the significance of cybersecurity?
The internet is deeply connected with modern life. Almost every everyday action can now be done online, and nearly everyone possesses numerous devices, including computers, phones, tablets, smart watches, smart TVs, and more. The more accounts and gadgets you have online, the easier it is for crooks to access your personal information and exploit you.
Online safety is crucial regardless of age or stage of life, but there are specific concerns for vulnerable populations such as children, teens, and older adults.
Internet Safety for Children
This part is for you, parents. If you have children of any age, you must devise a strategy for keeping them safe online. The internet may be a terrific source of learning and fun for children, but they should only see age-appropriate photos, videos, and information.
Parental controls and content filters are excellent starting points. Search engines include “safe search” capabilities that filter out undesirable information, and there are even search engines designed just for children. Parental controls and applications are also available on cell phones to assist parents in keeping their children secure while online. Unfortunately, some internet predators and hackers find methods to circumvent filters and censorship measures.
Some content ostensibly intended for children may include distressing violent or sexual themes. Be cautious while in doubt. Watch videos before allowing youngsters to watch them, and be aware of games that include built-in chat capabilities. Encourage your children to avoid online conversations with strangers and make them aware of internet risks. There’s no need to be worried; simply follow simple safety steps, supervise your children’s internet activity, and teach them about online safety.
Teens’ Internet Safety
As children get older, they will utilize the internet without adult supervision. We advise parents to continue having talks about cybersecurity and online safety with their children in order to guarantee that they develop healthy internet habits. Here are some short recommendations for teen internet safety:
Limit your use of technology. To monitor and limit phone, tablet, and computer use, use an app like Apple’s Screen Time. Apps like this are available for Android phones and other platforms.
Keep electronics out of bedrooms. It is easier to monitor usage if computers, phones, and tablets are only permitted in common areas of the house. You may make it a rule that all family members, including parents, charge their gadgets overnight in the kitchen or living room. It would be beneficial to you as well! According to research, reducing screen time before bed improves sleep quality.
Discuss the Internet Teenagers should feel safe approaching their parents or guardians with concerns about what they encounter on the internet. Try to be upfront and honest with your children about the hazards of the internet, and assure them that you are there to help and protect them.
Make Plans For Their Future Children rely on their parents and guardians for protection and counsel while they are young, but parents should also prepare their children for independence. Discuss topics such as responsible banking, password security, and data protection with your children.
Certain sorts of internet frauds, such as student loan forgiveness schemes, may be particularly appealing to teenagers and young adults. Teaching fundamental internet safety rules to children at a young age is the first step in protecting them online.
How to Keep The Elderly or old Safe Online
Seniors are particularly vulnerable to internet frauds and hoaxes. Scammers prey on elderly because many of them have accumulated a lifetime’s worth of money, home equity, and other valuable possessions. According to studies, elderly Americans are less likely to report fraud because they may not know how to report a scam or feel embarrassed about being a victim of a scam. To prevent frauds targeting the elderly, we want to ensure sure seniors — as well as their loved ones and caregivers — are aware of standard cybersecurity best practices and internet safety recommendations.
Some elders become victims of elder financial abuse, which occurs when someone takes advantage of their privileged access to an elderly person’s financial information. Instead of assisting people in managing their money and making good decisions, the financial abuser may take money and utilize it for personal advantage.
Scammers use family emergency scams to prey on elders. An impostor selects a victim and approaches them, pretending to be their grandchild or other loved one. These con artists frequently claim to be in difficulty – in jail, the hospital, or in a distant nation — and that they want money immediately. These imposters may be quite convincing, utilizing sensitive family information to deceive their victims.
Cybersecurity 101: 7 Basic Internet Safety Tips
When it comes to internet safety, it’s best to start with the basics. We have come up with 7 tips to guide you as you evaluate your online habits and make small changes to ensure your privacy and security on the internet.
- Protect Your Personal Information With Strong Passwords
When creating a new password, pay attention to strong password requirements.
Change your passwords often.
Don’t share your passwords with other people.
Don’t use common, easily guessable passwords.
Make sure passwords and password hints are stored securely. Record passwords in an encrypted file on your computer, or select another secure password storage method.
- Keep Personal Information Private
When you sign up for something online, read the terms and conditions.
Never enter your financial information on a website that isn’t secure (look for the padlock or “https://” prefix in the browser address bar).
If you suspect your credit card information is being misused online, turn off your card using the SNB SD mobile banking app.
It’s important to protect your personal information offline, too, because once sensitive information is stolen it can be proliferated online. Remember tips like shielding the PIN pad when you make purchases and learning how to spot a credit card skimmer at gas pumps. Using a chip debit card is another way to protect your financial information. The more sophisticated chip technology is just one reason why the chip card is more secure than the traditional magnetic strip debit card.
- Make Sure Your Devices Are Secure
Utilize passwords and other security options like fingerprint readers and face scanning technology. One report stated that 30% of smartphone users didn’t use passwords, screen locks or other security features to lock their phones.
Secure all devices, including computers, phones, tablets and devices like smartwatches and smart TVs.
- Pay Attention to Software Updates
Promptly install software updates, especially when they include important security upgrades.
Set up automatic updates on your devices so you never miss one!
- Be Careful About Wifi
Do not trust public wifi security. Avoid connecting to unsecured public wifi networks.
Make sure your own wifi networks are protected with strong passwords.
Remember tip #1 and change your wifi password frequently.
- Set Up Two-Factor Authentication
Enable two-factor authentication in order to prevent hackers from accessing your personal accounts and information.
Add this extra layer of security to keep your accounts safe even if someone knows your password.
- Back Up Your Personal Data
Back up important personal information on external hard drives.
Create new back-ups regularly.
Couple looking at computer screen.
How to Avoid Identity Theft Online: 4 Internet Safety Tips
A little bit of vigilance goes a long way when it comes to protecting your identity online. Adding an extra layer of security can be as simple as keeping an eye on your accounts, looking out for suspicious activity and shredding sensitive documents. Some data breaches are out of our control, like when retailers or other companies get hacked. We have to trust certain entities to hand personal data, but we encourage people to do all they can to protect their private information.
Complete privacy is difficult in the digital age, so users must be cautious and wary. Take these precautions to make sure identity thieves don’t steal your personal information.
- Monitor Your Credit Reports
Keeping an eye on your credit is an important way to make sure no one is trying to mess with your personal financial information. If you want to see who is making inquiries about you credit, you can request a free credit report from any of the three national credit reporting companies:
We recommend reviewing your credit reports occasionally in order to make sure there is no suspicious activity and everything appears as expected.
If you want an extra layer of protection, a credit freeze is an effective line of defense against fraud and identity theft. As of September 2018, there is no cost, so learn how to freeze your credit for free.
- Be On the Lookout For Unusual Statements Or Bills
Pay attention to statements, receipts and bills. If you’re signed up for electronic bills or statements, it’s easy for them to get lost in your email inbox. Regularly looking at statements will help you notice if there is suspicious activity happening in any of your accounts. If you become a target for fraud, you’ll want to catch it as soon as possible and contact your bank for help.
- Shred Documents Containing Financial Or Personal Information
Don’t throw sensitive documents in the trash! Use a paper shredder or shredding service to dispose of anything with your full name, phone number, address, social security number, bank account information or other private personal details. Check out this helpful shredding guide, and consider shredding documents such as:
Bank and Credit Card Statements
Paid Bills and Invoices
- Use Caution While Traveling
You’re more vulnerable to certain types of fraud and identity theft while traveling. If you want to protect your identity online while traveling, take extra precautions. Let your bank know where you’re going and how long you’ll be gone and ask the post office to hold your mail. If any bills are due while you’re gone, see if you can plan payments before you leave.
While you’re on your trip, observe extra safety measures to protect your personal items and information.
If you need to pay a bill online while you’re away, make sure you’re connected to a secure wifi network.
Ask your hotel if your room has a safe, and use the safe to protect valuables and extra cash when you’re not in your room.
Exercise caution when using your debit card to pay local vendors and retailers; when in doubt, pay with cash.
Carry copies of important travel documents, and make sure to store them separately from the original versions. It’s also a good idea to have a digital copy of your passport stored online, just in case.
Is Online Banking Safe? Tips for How to Bank Safely Online
Online banking and mobile banking apps can be a safe and convenient way to manage your finances, but it’s important to follow cybersecurity best practices in order to protect your personal financial information. With online bank accounts, it’s especially important to choose a strong password. Hackers will go to great lengths to gain access to your personal financial information, so your bank accounts need to be protected and secured.
Choosing a reputable bank is also crucial. Look for an FDIC-insured bank. FDIC insurance is an industry standard for banking legitimacy. Read more tips for how to bank safely online:
Don’t check your bank account balance or pay bills using public wifi networks. Not all public networks are secure.
Don’t look at private financial information on public computers. If you need to use a computer at a library or other public space, make sure you log off all accounts and clear your browsing history.
If you see any suspicious charges on your debit or credit card, utilize mobile banking card controls to turn off your card, and contact your bank immediately.
Make sure to only enter your financial information on legitimate apps and websites. Cybercriminals will sometimes create copycat websites and apps to trick people into entering their personal information on an unsecured site. Check the URL of the website you’re on before entering your account information.
Update apps frequently because they often contain important security upgrades. Outdated apps are more hackable and more susceptible to data breaches.
Young man with glasses looking at computer.
Protect Your Identity Online: 4 Types of Online Scams to Avoid
Sometimes, online criminals use manipulative methods to gain access to a person’s private information. Instead of guessing your password or attempting to steal your account information, they use sneaky techniques like trying to get emotionally close to you or impersonating one of your friends on social media. The scammer may end up soliciting money from you, accessing your personal data or installing malware on your devices. Here are a few common online scams to avoid:
- Online Dating Scams
Online romance scammers will manipulate their victims by forming an intimate personal connection and then using the relationship to try to gain access to personal and financial information. All ages are susceptible to online dating scams, but studies have shown that senior citizens are particularly vulnerable. Help protect seniors online by educating them about the dangers of online romance scammers.
- Social Media Scams
Online scammers are always coming up with new ways to manipulate people on the internet. Be on the lookout for social media scams like fake profiles, catfishing, gossip clickbait, job offer scams and fake online scams. A good rule of thumb is to always check the validity of a website before allowing it to access your personal information. Never click on suspicious links, and don’t fill out online forms unless the website is legitimate and secure.
- Text Message Scams
Text message scams can be a combination of various other online scams, including phishing links, gossip clickbait and other misleading and malicious forms of fraud. Remember that banks, government entities and other legitimate companies will never ask for personal or financial information in a text message, so never send your private information in an unsecure text message thread. Only give personal information via legitimate and secure website portals.
- Email Phishing Scams
Phishing is a form of cyber attack that entices users into clicking on a link that will compromise private data. Email phishing scams typically include enticing offers for gift cards or other free items. Always assume that if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. These types of online scams are especially prevalent during the holiday season, so be alert and don’t let holiday scams ruin your holidays!
Email phishing scams are constantly changing and evolving as scammers try to come up with new ways to take advantage of people. Stay vigilant, don’t click on suspicious links and check the FTC scam alerts list to learn about new scams.
Learn More About Privacy and Security On the Internet
In today’s environment, online safety is a constant issue. Learning how to avoid identity theft online will be a continuous exercise as technology changes and advances. Security National Bank is here to assist you. Our purpose is to protect both you and your money! We are your go-to source for information on the most recent cybersecurity trends and suggestions. If you have any concerns about how to be secure online, please contact us, and sign up for our newsletter if you want fresh financial security and internet safety recommendations given directly to your inbox.