Social media is great help in building new connections and strengthening the old. But it can also be a big headache. Content on social media can effect users’ mood adversely. And even a tiny carelessness can lead to grave security risks.
Reports suggest that 76% users of social media are women. A recent report released by KPMG also suggests that most of the key categories that are gathering prominence on social media these days are mostly targeted at women rather than men.
While security is essential for everyone, women need to be extra careful to avoid potential harassment. As can be easily guessed, the consequence of cyber-attack differ greatly for men and women. The cases of stalkers, sexual predators using information on social media to target their victims are increasing.
Thus, it is very important for women and girls to be extra careful in their use of social media. Here are some simple cyber security tips suggested by Quick Heal Technologies that can help in warding of cyber crime risks:
Cyber Security Tips for Women
Share only what is necessary:
Social media makes it very easy to share moments of our lives with friends and family. But one must be very careful about the information one is sharing. Revealing whereabouts, daily routine, addresses, etc. can be very risky. Any stalker or cyber criminal can use this information for their ulterior motives. So it’s best to avoid sharing of sensitive information on public platforms.
Use the privacy options:
Different social media platforms provide different privacy controls to their users. Take some time and set them up. When it comes to privacy, it is better to err on the side of over cautiousness. On social media networks like Facebook, you can control the audience of your posts. So, if you wish to share sensitive information like your location, it’s best to restrict its visibility to family and friends. Don’t make such information publicly visible. It is also advisable not to make your photographs publicly visible either. Photos can be abused too. Don’t forget that your photograph and location details are enough for a stalker to make your life a nightmare. So be careful of what you are sharing, and with whom.
Never share your password:
You may think there’s no danger in sharing your password with your best friend or spouse or another family member. But even a tiny carelessness on their part can make you pay the price. Your friends and family wouldn’t wish you harm. But the more people know a secret, the greater are its chances of being revealed. Your password must remain a secret too. So keep it to yourself.
Do not store bank details, passwords etc. online:
The more we live online, the more passwords we have. There are email passwords, social media passwords, banking passwords, and so on. For ease, many users put all these login details and password in a document and store it online on Google Drive, OneDrive etc. This is a huge security risk. Suppose, you have stored your banking passwords on your Gmail or Google Drive and your Gmail gets hacked. The hacker now has the passwords of your bank accounts. This has actually happened to one of my relatives. And it caused her a lot of stress. So be careful. Storing important information online can give you convenience. But it can also cause you grave loss.
Be very careful in clicking links:
If you do not absolutely know that the link is safe, do not click it. A link might be offering you attractive discounts or a sensational gossip. But if you do not know the website it leads to, do not click it. If you are really curious, Google to find that discount offer or juicy gossip. Malicious links are the favorite tool of cyber criminal for phishing attacks. A simple link can lead to a malicious website and steal your important information like passwords, bank details. Even if the link is in a genuine looking mail, be careful of clicking it. If it is to update bank details or any such risky activity, better to go to the website directly than by clicking on a link in any mail.
Be careful of your webcam:
Did you know that it is very easy for any cyber criminal to control your webcam? There are plenty of spy apps and software available today to control anybody’s webcam. Any cyber criminal can use these to switch on your camera at will and keep a watch on you. So, it’s best to disconnect your webcam from the computer when you are not using it. If you use a laptop, cover up its camera with a tape or something. I do that too. There’s always a white paper taped to the camera lens on my laptop.
Do not trust easily:
The social media is full of fake profiles. People using those profiles may sound awesome. They may get close to you very soon. But be very careful of revealing important information to anyone whom you do not know offline too. Also be careful in taking the online relationships to offline life. If you are going to meet someone you know only on Facebook, take all necessary safety precaution. That lovely friend on Facebook can turn out to be a criminal in real life.
Use 2-factor authentication:
Use 2-factor authentication wherever possible. This adds an extra layer of security between you and the hacker. It uses codes that get delivered to your phone or email addresses. Without inputting this code, a hacker cannot access your account even if they have the password. So, always use the two-factor authentication wherever it is available.
The threat of cyber crimes is very real and growing. Cyber security and safety is essential for everyone. But women and young users need to be extra careful. Women and young users are prime target for cyber criminals. Even when little carelessness online can wreck havoc offline. So, be very careful of what you are sharing. Be very careful of the new connections you make on social media. Your safety is more important than social fun. Use the above mentioned cyber security tips and a hefty dose of common sense to stay safe online.
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