Unfortunately, a large proportion of women are victims of cybercrime. Hate speech, online harassment, and blackmail are examples of abuse and sexism in the digital era. The expanding reach of the internet and the quick dissemination of information via mobile devices have created new options that may put certain women at risk, so it’s critical to be aware of the risks.
Here are six safety tips that will help young women and teens better protect themselves online.
Turn off location-tracking features.
There are far too many malicious persons perusing social networking platforms in the hopes of forming inappropriate relationships with naïve young females. Be cautious when you are disclosing personal information about your lifestyle and location. With a single snapshot or status post, stalkers might discover ways to contact you. Turn off the geotagging feature on your camera. Only enable it when necessary because any gadget with a turned-on location feature risks revealing your precise position at any time.
Don’t share your passwords.
As basic as it may seem, you should never disclose your password with others, especially people you don’t trust or people you’ve just met. Additionally, it would help if you did not use the same password for many accounts. If you own multiple accounts, it might be hard to develop new passwords every time. Therefore, you should consider installing a password manager to help you establish and easily remember secure passwords. Doing this keeps your passwords private and complex by using prudence, making your accounts insusceptible to breaches and online threats.
Use anti-virus software to protect your gadgets.
Having a computer or phone without a security system is like living in a house with the doors wide open. Malicious software may infiltrate and take over your life on your mobile and desktop devices. Therefore, it’s essential to protect your computer security by installing a trustworthy security solution on all your devices. Also, keep all your software updated for the best form of protection.
Avoid clicking on links that promise freebies.
As tempting as it may be to click on a link that promises a special price or promotion, avoid doing so unless you are sure that the website is authentic. You certainly don’t want to fall victim to a phishing scam by clicking on a link that steals your money or personal information under the guise of giving a discount. Games, discounts, and free offers are examples of freebies that might have spyware, viruses, or harmful software. This malware can gain access to your device and mine all your information.
Use social media with caution.
When you share your photos, status, or location, ensure that you know which contacts are viewing your posts and see what you are sharing. Remember that this information is shared with both their and your connections when individuals tag you. Hence why you should review your privacy settings and make any necessary changes.
The urge to share your photos with friends and family right away is understandable. However, it’s easy to forget about a hacker’s incentive to harvest candid photos. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep track of what you post online and how much you disclose. It’s always a good idea to keep some things secret. Also, don’t forget to keep your webcam turned off when not in use since there are a lot of apps that are able to turn on your camera and record your movements if this feature is not disabled on your device.
Be wary of websites that track your activities.
You might be unintentionally exchanging information when exploring the web. Websites employ trackers and cookies to figure out where you are, what things you’ve purchased, what other websites you’ve visited, and what keyword searches you’ve performed. This is without a doubt scary, but you can avoid it by blocking certain cookies by using browser extensions.
Additionally, it would be best to use a VPN to protect your Internet connection because it changes your IP address when you connect to the internet. A VPN also helps in protecting your passwords and any other sensitive information.
Common sense and trusting your gut are the first lines of defense for online and offline safety. Always bear in mind that a few precautions can go a long way towards protecting your personal information and digital identity.