How To Be Safe Online

It would seem there has been enough time gone by for most internet users to know how to be safe online, but more and more precautions are required as technology increases. The use of Antivirus software could make Internet Safety practices a lot more lax. But having virus protection is only a small part of internet safety. We also need to use safety while using portable devices such as mobile phones and tablets.
It rare to find people who still pay bills writing checks and dropping them off in the mail. It is also rare to find people who don’t use Social Media. Truth be told, Social Media platforms have changed the game for millions of internet users and we’ve become quite dependent upon it.
Here are a few tips to help you to stay safe online.

Tips for Internet Safety

It is sometimes hard to keep up but you can remain safe online if you practice a few rules when using your computer or mobile device.

  1. Change your passwords regularly. Make sure they are hard to guess but easy enough for you to remember. Do not store your passwords on your computer or mobile device.
  2. Log out of online applications. Websites store data from your logged in session and when on sites for instance, like Facebook or Google while logged in, the sites you visit can track your activity to other websites and use this information to send targeted marketing to you.
  3. Cover your video camera when not in use. Devices connected to the internet are capable of capturing video if the right person finds that device open on the internet.
  4. Require a “no cell phone or media devices” policy when there is a need to protect data or information from being recorded. Users are always secretly recording conversations and they can be recording even when it doesn’t look like they are.  You may be discussing intellectual ideas or concepts that should not yet be publicly available.
  5. Turn off your microphone when not in use. Siri and Alexa are voice activated and your instructions are being recorded to them. These recordings can be found in the settings for the Alexa or Siri application.

Additional Tips

This brings up the subject of our society being poised to pull out their phones and start recording at any given time.  Rather than simply taking notes from work or business meetings audio recordings may be the choice for recording meetings, instead. This can be a good thing when it is not being abused.
State laws have been passed to now allow what is called “one party consent” recordings.  This means that if you and another individual are in a conversation, only one of the party of a conversation needs to consent to the recording, even if that one party is “you.” However when recording any type of conversation, by phone or in person, be sure to use courtesy and ask for consent.  This builds and maintains trust. Secretly recording conversations can be perceived as sneaky or in some cases malicious.
In the case where one party may choose to share information that should not be shared with others outside of the meeting,  you would simply state that what you are about to share is not intended for the public to hear or you may choose not to disclose the information.
State laws protect conversations that are reasonably expected to be private. Different states have different laws and the laws are being updated all the time. So check the current laws for your state.
If you are a company, you may want to establish your own digital media policy and share it with your team.