Technology is here to stay and has been a blessing to many but it also comes with its problems.
We’ve been told about how this or that is safe but something is only safe when you really know how to use it. Technology in the hands of people who do not know how to use it properly is just like a sharp blade in the hands of a toddler. You might think you’ve been on Facebook for so long and so you’re an expert on the internet but you will be surprised to know you’re a novice when someone is able to use your details on Facebook to track you.
A lot of things are happening with new apps and so we are here to let you know how to stay safe with them and not to backtrack you to the stone age, here are 16 ways you can stay safe in today’s technological world.
1. Stay Safe With Uber
Uber is a new app that allows you to get easy access to a taxi service and also allow you to determine the price of your destination. A lot of people are enjoying it but people don’t usually look deep into the danger it brings. Criminals can also offer their cars for the service and use it to rob you.
So how do you stay safe on this one? It is always safer to let someone know you’re travelling. There is also a feature in the app that allows you to inform your friends to track your movement by GPS so in case anything happens, they can alert the police. Learn to use this and stay safe.
2. Make Sure To Update Your Softwares
Don’t be troubled any time your computer or phone ask for updates, they are very important and also meant to keep you safe. Any time your computer updates certain software and anti-viruses, they always close a gate a hacker can use to get to your computer. It doesn’t hurt a fly, just make sure you update all the time when your system asks for an update. It saves you from a lot of trouble.
3. Know Who Your Friends Are On Social Media
You have 5,000 friends but you know only 20 in real life and you’re proud of it and you never thought of the danger it could bring. Out of the 5,000, not everyone became a friend on Facebook because they wanted to be friends, some sent you a friend request because they wanted to monitor or spy on you. Not everyone who sends you a friend request is a friend, some are criminals and so it is best to know all those behind the faces on Facebook.
We are sure when we said you should know all your friends on Facebook, you thought we meant you should go visit them all, no! that’s not what we meant. It is good to know those behind the images on your friend’s list. Cross check the images on your friend’s Display Picture on Google and if it sends you to a different link of someone else, then they are fake and has a good reason why they are hiding behind someone else’s picture, just block or unfriend them. Don’t also accept friend requests from people who decide not to have profile pictures unless you know them personally and knows they have a good reason for doing that and also those who use cats, flowers, dogs etc. are not the right people who are ready to be friends. If they can see your picture, what prevents them from allowing you to see them.
Same goes for all the other social media platforms.
4. Email Spam
Gone are the days when you could easily spot an email spam, these days spammers have mastered how to hide certain features that can easily make you spot one.
You have to be careful when you receive emails from websites you made purchases from because hackers can use your details and email you to get information from you and use it to rob you.
These are some few tips to look out for, if you receive an email from, for instance, Amazon after a purchase and it says, “Dear Valued Customer” and doesn’t use your name, know that it is a spam or fake because when filling your details, you used your name so Amazon can use your name, it is a spam don’t pay attention to it, or else scammers can use such information to hack your system. Don’t click on any links, just delete it.
However, if you’re curious and don’t want to believe it is fake and want to check, there is a way to go about it. Don’t click on any links that you’re provided, go to your web address and type in the full address of the website, log into your account and do a proper check but not from the email you were provided.
5. Your Webcam
Well if you thought because your webcam is off and so you’re safe, you might be wrong and in case you think your webcam is only accessed when you link up with someone, then you might have to think again.
Hackers can hack into your house through your webcam and can spy on you while you sleep or work, it is very easy. In fact, it is even more dangerous for women because they can hack into your webcam, put it on and be viewing you while you dress or go naked, even when you having sex. Don’t think all the sex videos you see on the internet were submitted by the owners, some were recorded without their knowing.
So how do you secure your webcam, first make sure you disable it, you can use a small sticky paper or sellotape to cover the cam and that should be good to go.
6. Hotel Credit Card Scam
This is something you need to take serious, especially if you’re a regular traveller. If you check into a hotel and you receive a call saying it is coming from the front desk and so they will need your credit card details, just hang up and walk down to the front desk and ask what it was about. Never give your credit card details on the phone, scammers can call the front desk and asked to be transferred to you. They do this by random selection, so be careful.
7. Remote Access
Just as you will not openly give the keys to your house to a criminal, it is the same way you should be careful with the information you give out there. If you receive a call from your ISP claiming they called to fix a problem and they ask you to log onto a website and give them access to your computer, gently decline and hang up. This is a way to get access to your system remotely and they can use it to do a lot of harm to your details and even wipe your bank account with it. If you have any challenges with your computer, just carry it to a computer repairer or call someone you know in person and can trust.
8. Watch Where You Leave Your Email
Spam is now a big business and there are people out there always looking for emails to spam and so be careful where you leave your email address. We’ve seen many posts on Facebook asking people to leave their email address for an important message or so, or others asking people to leave their emails in the comment box to win an iPhone. Now, if you’ve ever come across such a post, you should know it is a spam.
There are people out there who can scan the internet for such email addresses and spam you. To avoid this, it is better not to enter your email address in such posts at all, but if you can’t resist because you see it to be important, it is better to spell out your email instead of writing the email as it is. For instance, instead of writing, “[email protected]”, it will be better to write it, “kotodwedotbonkateatyahoo.com”, there is no way any app or software can pick that as an email address even if spammers search for it.
9. Be Careful With USB’s
We are sure most of you are aware of how dangerous it is to be sticking people’s USB into your computer, so we don’t need to even tell you to watch that. But there’s another daring one most of you probably do not know and need to be careful with it and that’s when you charge your phone with USB cables thinking they are just cable and so it is safe. No! they are not.
Hackers can put Malware into USB ports and transmit it to your machine and hack you, so you need to be careful especially when you charge your phone with USB cables in public areas. If you want to be safe, just change your settings to charging only on your phone and not use the Media option.
10. Car Key Alarms
Thanks to technology, most cars these days are computerised and many come with car key alarms. You might not see this as a life saver but it is. Always make sure to have your car keys closer to your bed where your hands could reach them easily. Now, in case you hear an intruder in your house, instead of trying to go down there to hit them with a bat, it will be advisable to hit on the car key alarm, this will alert curious neighbours or scare even the intruder away.
11. Learn To Secure Your Security Questions
When you are creating your new email before you get to create your password, you’re asked some security questions in case you forget your password or when you buying something online, you meet these questions. Don’t take them for granted, it is something a hacker can use to get access to your email or secured platform.
Some of these questions could be, “the first name of your school”, “your favourite food” etc. you should be careful when you answer any of these questions and don’t go about living the answer anywhere on social media. Hackers are smart and know the easiest place you can leave such information.
12. Announcing Your Location
When you go on a trip to Dubai, be careful what you post on social media. Posting about your trips to Dubai clearly shows that you’re not home and you’ve left your house to the mercy of criminals. Friends who follow you on social media can monitor your movement and rob you.
This doesn’t mean you can’t share your favourite pictures with friends, you can, but only do that when you return. That way, criminals will have the surprise of their lives when they come to meet you at home.
13. Be Careful What You Share On Social Media
If you’re a worker, you need to be mindful of what you share on social media because this can get you fired and we’ve seen a lot.
If you’re job searching, it makes more sense to watch what you share also. You wouldn’t want to end up in an interview with MTN and the first thing they show to you is your post on social media saying how useless their network is.
14. Be Careful With Free Wi-Fi
It is not easy to get access to free wi-fi in the country but sometimes you get lucky and you hook onto a Wi-Fi and you realise it is free, no password protected and so you go ahead and start doing all the things you needed to do with the internet. You need to be careful with such Wi-Fi connections because as the saying goes, “there is nothing like a free lunch”. Some of these free Wi-Fi connections are a trap opened to get you in.
If you get access to such Wi-Fi, just use it to browse innocent pages such as read the news on OMGVoice or Visit our Facebook page or watch some videos etc. but never use it to login into your Bank’s App or use some of the money paying apps online such as ExpressPay or SlydePay. It is a way hackers can use to track your transactions and rob you clean. And when using such Wi-Fi’s make sure any website you’re visiting has the “https://” which means it is secured, if not it can’t be trusted.
15. Selling Things Online
These days, apps such as OLX and Tonaton or even Facebook allows people sell stuff or items online. It is not that safe for the seller if he thought it is. We believe most of you heard the news of how a Jumia staff was killed in Nigeria when he went to deliver an iPhone they bought on the website, yes! that’s how dangerous it could and this could happen to anybody if you’re not careful.
Follow some of these guidelines to stay safe.
Make sure to meet the people at a public place, never go into their house even if they look nice and invite you. You’re there for business and not a family get-together.
You can also ask them to meet you at a police station for the items or you can go close to where a police station is located when they for you to meet them somewhere. If the item is a car, never agree to a test drive, let them know you drove to the place with the car, it works fine. If they insist, them to wait while you drive to show them.
16. Perfect Your Passwords
Learn to make your passwords strong by making it 8 characters or more and also make sure to add symbols, numbers, and capital letters. To make it perfect, learn to use a very rare word on the internet. You can even use Twi words such as, “KotodweBonkate” but it should be this way, “[email protected]”. With a password like this, there is no way any software can track it down.