Can we protect our identities from the dangers of the online media?
People tend to forget the dangers of online media
The appearance of the online media has revolutionized a lot of our daily aspects, but there is one that no one ever tends to think about: it gave everybody equal opportunity to speak publicly. It is something that we did not have in the past. Nowadays, everybody can log onto a computer, jump on the internet and make its presence noticed.
People who are not of great social value speak for an audience of millions or even tens of millions, who follow their activity daily on the internet. This is both a good thing and a bad one because some would think of themselves as moral guides, taking the role of specialists and influencing the public opinion by using misinformation.
But this is not the only danger of the online media. It has been developed into a breeding ground for illegal activities, precisely because it offers anonymity and it allows the culprit to operate everywhere in the world, without having to physically travel to the location.
What is more important is that people not only know the dangers that come with the use of the online media, but they are also oblivious to the countermeasures they could use. Hackers could gain access to your personal data, managing to steal your passwords, find your location, daily habits, credit card pin number and so on.
Protection is crucial
Nobody thinks he is going to be a victim of the online media. For the most people, the regular internet users, the virtual environment is a means to relaxation. They gather in small communities, discuss, share impressions, photos and whatever. “Why would anyone hack me? I am nobody” says the myth. However, hackers do not necessarily prefer certain types of people, belonging to certain social categories.
There is but one thing that attracts perpetrators like bees on the honeypot – low security. That is all. Everybody can fall victim to the online media, regardless of their social importance, or any other subjective aspect. Which means that we need to protect our personal data and prevent it from leaking into the wrong hands.
- Protect your current location
Most people do not know that, whenever posting any picture in the online media, the location of the one who posted it appears embedded in bits in the picture’s code. There are applications that are designed to remove the metadata containing this information, so feel free to use one each time you plan on uploading anything.
Also, the large majority, if not all, the social platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, have the “Add location” option, available for anything you upload. Uncheck the box and you should be good.
- Change the password regularly
There are programs that can hack into your password pretty easily nowadays and no matter what countermeasure you would adopt, there is nothing 100% secure. However, the most effective one remains to change the password regularly, even if it is a pain to do so whenever entering the online media. A bit of extra protection cannot hurt anyone, though.
- Keep some information for yourself
The online media is a jungle because it allows everybody the access, which puts some people at risk, by not knowing who to trust. Some of these people use to share every aspect of their life on the social platforms, like where they use to dine, where they travel, where they live and so on.
These are information that could be used against them if fallen into the wrong hands. So try keeping a low profile, or at least stop sharing everything you do with everyone.
- Keep the WiFi turned off
The WiFi is not as secure as you may have, though. It allows for all types of unwanted intrusions, even when you are not using it. All it takes is for you to leave it open, so make sure you don’t leave it on stand-by.
Also, try using a VPN when looking to access the internet from mobile devices, like a tablet or a laptop. It adds a bit of extra security.