• JWMS Newspaper Club

Online Safety Tips by Brice Y.

You might be thinking, “I’m not well known on the internet, why would anyone want to hijack any of my accounts or find personal information on me?” The reality is there are multiple reasons why!

Some people hold your information for ransom, while others threaten to leak personal information (private IP addresses, passwords, email addresses, etc.) to get information out of you (blackmail). Basically, a blackmailer can cause serious problems for a person if that individual doesn't give the blackmailer what they want. You might be wondering, “Why do people do this kind of stuff?”


Well, some people just naturally take advantage of others on the internet. Some know that they have a small chance of getting in trouble because the internet gives a lot of people anonymity. Now, I’m not trying to be a fear-monger, but I believe it's important to inform the public on what can happen on the internet if users aren't careful. I have a few tips to just maybe help you remain safe online.


The first piece of advice is VERY well-known. Even your parents know this one.


Tip #1: Don't click on any questionable links or links that you don’t recognize.


Next is Tip #2: Use secure passwords.


If, for example, you use a password that is just "cat123," then once that account with that password gains traction, it’ll be simple for anyone to guess that password. According to "How Secure Is My Password," "cat123" is in the top 5280 most used passwords. You might think, “Oh the top 5280 isn’t THAT bad.” And to that I’ll say, yes it is. In fact, according to the same security site, a computer can crack that password INSTANTLY.


And finally, Tip #3: Keep your information safe.


You can use a VPN (Virtual Private Network), a Virtual Machine (I’d recommend a Linux Virtual Machine), or you even a USB to store files if you ever get infected with a virus or malware. Whatever is in your price range is the best choice. Students, the only people that it is safe to share your passwords with are your parents or guardians. Stay safe online.


 
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