For better or for worse, most of us are going to have an online presence. It might be that you just hang around Facebook sharing some views and funny pictures, or you might be active on Twitter, sharing your thoughts to your following. You might not even use social media, and just use the web to play your tunes and browse your news sites. You might be the type of person that runs a business through the online world, selling to digital customers via the internet. There are plenty of reasons to be online, and in some form or another you’re going to have a web presence – even if you’re just reading this article, you’re going to have a presence on the world wide web. It’s unavoidable.
What you might not know, however, is that your presence on the web isn’t safe by default. Your web presence is not secure automatically. You have to lay some groundwork, you have to use your smarts, and you need to equip yourself well. There is a lot that can go wrong on the internet, especially if you’re not in the know about how the internet works, especially so if you are caught unawares by a scam, or a virus. It’s a safe place to be – of course, but you need to keep your wits about you.
What can happen on the internet then? Why do you need to keep your wits about you? Well – in the first instance, do you know that the web page you are on is the real deal? Is it the real website, or is it an identikit replicant put in place by a scam artist hoping to access your computer via a wayward click. If you know, you know. If you don’t know how to check for the legitimacy of a website, look at it’s domain – does it all seem kosher? If in doubt, look for a ‘secure’ padlock in the URL bar. This usually identifies that a website you are on is secure and protecting your data. Most modern browsers will warn you about the legitimacy of a web page, but don’t think you won’t get caught out if you are not paying attention.
The first thing you can do to secure your web presence is to pay attention. That will save you if you’re on a malicious web page, but it will also protect you from scams. Some people will ask for your information – or will even be as bold as to ask you for cash. If you’re paying attention, you might catch onto the fact that you are being scammed.
However, your security can be breached in other ways. Viruses can break into your computer and open the doors for a hacker. Not good news, not at all. Viruses can be gained from clicking around the internet, or via downloads. Anti-virus scans can rid you of them and protect your computer and use software like BackupVault to recover anything lost.
Part of being a responsible web-user is being secure on the web. This applies ten-fold if you’re a business with an active web presence.
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