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Staying safe and secure in a digital world can be difficult. Whether you're doing online transactions and banking or shopping and gaming, cybercriminals are methodically finding new ways of using your devices against you, making each one of us increasingly vulnerable. Another often overlooked dimension to the digital world and online activities is sharing – users share news, information, events, pictures, experiences and more to build and maintain relationships as well as create new ones.

To have a positive and safe experience in the digital world, we need to understand the ever-increasing diversity of digital threats and equip ourselves with the necessary knowledge and skills. Here are some simple measures you can take to protect yourself and your information online.

Make sure you have a strong password
Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels
  • Be aware of the threats and understand the risks of going online. It’s important to be vigilant and not assume that you’re safe. 
  • Exercise caution with online surveys and competitions as some of these may be scams designed to source your information. 
  • Carefully consider the information you choose to share online, including on social networks, in chat rooms and on other online media. 
  • Be careful not to post something that you don’t want everyone to see – remember, once it’s online, it is there permanently. 
  • Always use your best judgment: never disclose personal information and/or share passwords, PINs or OTPs. Keep your private matters private!
  • Remember the essentials such as ensuring your devices’ operating systems are current and security software is installed and updated. 
  • Verify the authenticity of a website before entering sensitive or personal information. Check for ‘https’ indicating a secure site or look for the padlock icon, or lock icon, in the address bar. 
  • Think before clicking on links, opening attachments or installing software from unknown sources – if you absolutely must, first verify that the communication is genuine. 
  • Use complex passwords and change these regularly. Remember that longer is usually stronger, but avoid choosing real words, sequential numbers or personal information. 
  • Protect your home network, connected devices and smartphones by using two-factor authentication (2FA) on home computers, email accounts and devices. 
     

Header photo by bruce mars from Pexels

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