Today, you can do absolutely anything on the Internet. You can shop for all of your clothing, food, and household items. You can shop for the home itself. Then, once you’ve lived in the home a while, you can find the person who is going to redo your kitchen using- what else- the Internet. We’re finding friends and dates on the Internet, and we’re more connected than ever. It’s easy, however, because you’re behind a screen, to forget to practice safety the same way you would when you’re out in the “real world.” Here are some tips to stay safe when you’re online.
Use Credit Cards- Not Debit Cards
Whether you’re using venmo with your friends, or making purchases from ecommerce sites, no matter how small, always use your credit card instead of your debit card. Your debit card leaves you with too much vulnerability, because it’s actually linked to a checking account. Your credit card is not. Plus, credit card companies are more likely to reimburse you if you fall victim to fraud or a scam.
Do Your Homework
When you’re making a purchase, hiring someone to complete a service, or playing games online, read the rules. Make sure you can return the purchase if it doesn’t live up to what you expected. Be sure you’re not doing anything to get yourself into trouble. It takes a little time, but you’re better safe than sorry.
Make Strong Passwords
We probably don’t need to tell you not to make your password your name, address, birthday, or anything easy to guess- not even your pet’s name. But it goes further than that. Make your password something really, really hard to guess. Make it long (like, complete phrase or sentence long), or make it random. J73jbh*kj&3nf!ii7 is a good choice. Although now, definitely don’t make it that. And, don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.
Don’t Give Too Much Info on Dating Sites
Your first name is fine. Really, that’s all you need. Don’t give your address, phone number, or even your last name to people you don’t know and trust. And, the first time you meet someone from the Internet in person, do it in a public place, even if you already feel comfortable with that person. You won’t regret doing it.
The Internet makes almost everything easier. But, if you’re not careful, it can also make things a lot more dangerous. Practice safety, and when in doubt, just use your head.