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What are some good habits in practicing safe internet use?

If you wouldn’t stand in the middle of a public place like a shop and start handing out your personal photos and information about yourself to random strangers, you probably shouldn’t do it online either.

Like it or not, the internet is here to stay. It’s virtually impossible to stay off the grid today unless you’re willing to walk off into the woods and become the subject of some mystery documentary. With that being said, you need to think about employing some basic habits when venturing off into the web. This article will address some major points, but it by no means is everything.

1. “If it looks too good to be true, it is…” If you are unsure of where you’re downloading something from, do research. Five second google searches have saved me from downloading malicious programs countless times. None of the major tech companies are giving away free Apple Watches if you share their posts, there’s no free vacations if you hit like, and that slice of cake isn’t going to magically melt away the fat!

 2. DONT STORE PASSWORDS IN A PLAINTEXT DOCUMENT… the amount of people that still do this is alarming. Especially if you are using something like Google Drive or Dropbox. If someone gains access to your Outlook or Gmail they now have everything.

 3. Anything you post to social media is there forever and can be seen by future employers! It’s amazing how many college students don’t think that the pics you posted of spring break won’t be looked at again and again.

 4. If you think that the online companies aren’t collecting information on you and selling it, you are quite wrong! I am still amazed that I can do a search on Google for an Instapot and the next time I open Facebook, there’s suddenly an ad for that Instapot on Amazon!

The key is to just think before you click!

John Bowling
Director of IT Services & Solutions