Tips on Staying Safe Online

People love to share every bit of intimate detail about their lives, whether it is about their eating habits evidenced in the photos they post on Instagram, telling people they are at their local supermarket, Foursquare; or even sharing their life update every 20 minutes via twitter.

I am no angel when it comes to social sharing! I have made it a part of my everyday life from when I was teenager. On top of this, I now detail these things in my vlogging, blogging and being on all the social sites known to man. 
It’s a tad bit crazy right?
I mean, do we always consider all the downsides to posting our personal information online? Let us take a minute and consider that once you click “tweet this”, “send” or “share” – you have published something to the world and anyone can access it and do as they please with the information. 
But do we really understand how much of our personal details we’re giving out to people that follow us, not because they are genuinely interested, but for an ulterior motive? There are many different types of cybercrime – A criminal might try and gain access to your personal information simply from you sharing your status updates on Facebook or from you sharing a photo detailing your exact whereabouts.
It’s so important to make sure you, your family & friends stay safe and secure while online. Social sharing has made it so easy to explore, create and collaborate but we must do it responsibly. I’ve put together some useful tips and information on how to apply that. 

1. Lock your screen or device
We have to recognise first of all that maintaining your privacy online is NOT easy and the only way to keep information completely private is to lock it away. Store the information securely or keep it in your head. 
You wouldn’t go out for the day and leave your front door open, well the same principle applies to the devices you use. You should always lock your screen when you finish using your phone, tablet, laptop or computer
2. Secure your passwords
Your first line of defence against cyber criminals, choose strong unique passwords and change them frequently. Use a unique password for each of your important online banking and do not use the same password twice, as once someone with ill intention has cracked one password, they’ve cracked them all. I find that long password made up of numbers, letters and symbols are the most effective, though they are that much harder to remember. Have a made up word or several words in one linked by a few numbers (not your date of birth, especially if you share your birthday on Facebook).
3. Avoid scams
We’ve all had that email that’s escaped the spam filter “CONGRATULATIONS Charlotte you’ve won £50,000 click here to claim your prize” or “My dearest beloved one, You have $800,000,001 in a bank in Botswana, all we need is your bank details and personal information to transfer the money over”. You’ll be surprised by the amount of people who actually believe these scam artists.
My mum always told me you get nothing for nothing. If you haven’t entered a competition of the sort or you have no clue who that person is in Botswana is *delete* don’t even respond.
4. Prevent identify theft
Would you really hand your house/car key to a stranger? The same applies to identity theft. Never reply if you see a dodgy email, direct message or webpage asking for your personal or financial details. Don’t even think about entering your password if you’ve followed a link to a site from an email or social site you’ve no idea where it’s come from. I wouldn’t advise to trust it, whenever anyone sends me a link I ask them what it is to double check they haven’t been hacked.
5. For Bloggers
Not everyone want to share their life to anyone who wants to read HAHA, so Blogger (Blogspot) has the option to keep it private. You can limit the viewers of your blog to only people you choose to invite. Your blog page initially is set as public by default, and can be read by anyone online. So you have a choice on how you choose to blog.
What are your views about social sharing & the effect is can have on your safety?

Lotte xo 

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  1. Don’t share when you are going on holiday on social media – a distant family member did this recently and had been burgled when they got back.