Using the internet is a wonderful source of information while also giving individuals from around the globe the opportunity to contact relatives, friends, co-workers, and even strangers regardless of their country of origin. Although the internet has become a vessel of communication and staying connected for millions of individuals today, understanding the potential online dangers when using the internet is imperative before logging on or connecting with others. Knowing what type of internet dangers are most prevalent today is a way to avoid potentially life-threatening or financially devastating situations in your everyday life.
How Can The Internet Become Dangerous?
The internet has rapidly evolved in less than a decade, exploring a variety of social platforms and communication facets for individuals from around the world. However, with the increase in communication and connectivity, the internet has also become a breeding ground for online scammers, thieves, and even dangerous criminals.
Sharing too much information and not understanding privacy policies of websites can quickly turn your profile into a potential target for online scammers and thieves. Knowing more about the most popular internet dangers and how to go about avoiding them yourself is a way to steer clear from any danger when you are surfing online, whether you are checking email or using social networking communities.
Cyber bullying is one of the most prevalent online dangers known today. Cyber bullying ranges from including everything from posting mean and negative comments about an individual to virtually threatening someone or publicly shaming another.
Cyber bullying is most common among teens and young adults, although there have been incidents of cyber bullying among the elderly and those who are simply running online blogs or websites. Keeping personal information and contact details private online is one way for you to avoid becoming a potential target of cyber bullying, regardless of whether you are using an online video community website or a public social networking platform. Cyber bullying is frowned upon now, although there are millions of individuals who still participate. Simply avoiding negative criticism and cyber bullying is one of the best recommended methods of ridding it altogether.
Hacking and Identity Theft
Identity theft and online hacking is nothing new, especially with the increase in tools to gather information and details about anyone who is online at any time, regardless of their location or internet service provider. Identity theft is common among scammers who build relationships with others to convince them they are in need of money or more information for an inheritance or reward the scammed individual has won. Individuals who are not aware of potential online scams and dangers often fall victims to these crimes, which may ultimately cause them to lose everything from their savings account to their homes and owned property.
Phishing scams continue to rise with the influx of new mobile technology, applications, and tools to connect to websites via social networking communities. Phishing involves a scammer or online thief collecting data and information from users after they have entered it on a URL that looks similar to a website they are familiar with logging into each day. Avoid getting trapped in a phishing scam yourself by always verifying the URL when you are logging into a website or blog, regardless of the type of site you are trying to access.
Any time you are entering secure and sensitive data into an online form or website, be sure to verify the website itself is using a SSL certificate, or secure sockets layer certificate to keep all of your information from being exposed to displayed publicly and to anyone who gains access to the site themselves. Checking the URL on a website is essential whenever you are making a purchase, entering credit card information, or even storing your full name and address within a website for future reference to keep all of the data you share confidential and only accessible to you.
Viruses and Spyware
Using an anti-virus program installed onto your computer’s hard drive is highly recommended whether you prefer to browse the internet for email and information or if you enjoy social networking and games. Viruses and spyware are often found in downloaded tools and programs that implement third-party tools to add to their own software upon installation. Be sure to read and review all terms and conditions for new programs, mobile apps, and software prior to installing them on your computer or mobile device to keep from obtaining unwanted spyware or potential viruses. Only use valid and trusted URLs any time you are browsing and entering personal information to avoid scams and virus downloads.
Stalking and Harassment
Unfortunately, using the internet is a way for cyber bullies and individuals who are angry to mock others, harass them, and do so without little to no consequence. Stalking and harassment is growing in trends due to the social nature of using the internet in everyday life. Whenever you want to become a new member of an online community, blog, or even a social network, it is important to secure your profile from displaying personal information or identifiers to potential stalkers and individuals who have bad intentions.
Keeping from sharing too much information or detail with complete strangers online is always advisable, especially if you are new to the internet or just getting started with social networking and blogging. Whenever you are being stalked online or harassed, changing and updating privacy settings is the first recommendation to keep individuals from contacting you. Remove any personal details from your online profiles and be sure to search for any general usernames you have used in multiple online sites that may also lead to more information about you personally.
Catfish Cases and Potential Online Dating Dangers
Dating online is no longer taboo and has millions of individuals from around the world hooked, especially with the thousands of online dating communities available to choose from today. Although online dating has worked out for many couples in the past, staying aware of surroundings and those you chat with online is essential to keep yourself from potential dangers, threats, harassment, and even stalking.
Catfish cases are also most common in online dating, where an individual creates a fake profile and persona to appeal to potential partners they are interested in dating. These relationships often last months or even years prior to discovering the individual you have been virtually dating is not really who they claim to be. Ensuring you are always dating the person you believe you are dating is imperative to avoid embarrassment, shame, humiliation, and anger after you begin seeing someone and dating them before meeting them in person.
The more you know about browsing online and how to stay safe, the less likely you are to become a target of a potential scam or crime. Staying aware of any website, network, or blog you post on at all times is a way to keep yourself and your identity from potential theft and risk. Any time you are browsing online, keeping some of the most popular internet dangers in mind is a way for you to stray from potentially dangerous situations that can easily be avoided with the proper knowledge and information prior to logging on.