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Are you cyber safe?

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The Internet is undoubtedly one of the best resources available to us. Unfortunately, it becomes extremely dangerous if one is unaware of who prowls behind the scenes. It is extremely important for everyone to be Internet safe while surfing the web as students, young people, aged people are majority of the victims of Internet scams, virus, and ransomware attacks. Remember that online access helps us to fetch a lot of information, but it comes up with risks such as inappropriate content, cyberbullying, and online predators.

What do you need to do to ensure Internet Safety?

1. Secure your home network: It is important to strengthen your home network by using a strong encrypted password as well as a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Its advisable to change the default password for your Wi-Fi network to a strong one.

2. Strengthen passwords: Use long and complex passwords that include numbers, letters, and special characters. Do not repeat your passwords on different sites and change them regularly. 

3. Keep everything up to date: Major computer companies issue regular updates to protect against newly emerged vulnerabilities. So, it is important to keep your operating system and software's updated. To make the task easy, you can turn on the automatic updates. To protect your device from virus and malware, you should install an antivirus and should keep it up to date. 

4. Enable multi-level authentication: Many websites and apps require users ask users to type in One Time Password, Email ID, or Mobile Number for verification in addition to the password while logging in. It is an extra step of verification which makes much harder for a hacker to break into your accounts.

5. Beware of unsolicited emails, text messages and phone calls: Never share your passwords because banks and legal groups never ask you to reveal them. It is important to think before you click the links received in emails and messages until you are sure of the identity of the sender as they can lead to phishing attacks.

Try this activity!

  • Classify the following passwords as ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’ passwords:
  • Sam
  • Sam@123
  • HelpMeeeeeee
  • (BuT5e8s)
  • !Thirteen13
  • Hello!!!!!!
  • 1234Hieeee
  • Drum@read372
  • 9999202830
  • 89Please$#
  • ??help$%193

6. Keep devices away from guests and children: The children and guests in the family can accidently erase the information. They can even accidently infect the device by clicking on random links.

7. Protect your online identity: Never reveal your address, contact number of financial information while surfing the web unless you are sure that the website is safe.

8. Be mindful of using social media: You should never share your password, location, contact number, other personal information, offensive content on the social media. You should also be careful in accepting friend requests and messages from the people you don't know. Check your security settings and be careful about what you post on social media is accessible to whom. 

9. Know what to do if you become a victim: If you believe that you have become a victim of a cybercrime, you need to alert the local police and you can file a written complaint with the cyber crime cell of any jurisdiction. There is a National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal for filing cybercrime complaints.

Be cautious and be Cyber Safe!!

—Designed by Dr Jyotika Pruthi, Assistant Professor,The NorthCap University, Gurugram

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