June is Internet Safety Month!
Follow these steps to ensure a fun and safe summer online for you and your family.
Share with Care — Be Smart on Social Media!
Summer is the perfect time to reconnect with friends, be it online or in person. If you choose the online route, think about what you post BEFORE you post it. The internet is forever, and once you share something it’s out there for good. Lock down your social media profiles by adjusting your privacy and security settings. Also, consider regularly changing your password. The longer, more complex your password, the harder it is for hackers to access your account. Hackers, beware!
Also, don’t forget to be nice online. Treating people the way you want to be treated applies in cyber space as well as in the real world. Use your social media presence in way that will help you, not hurt you. Have a few Facebook friends that you aren’t sure about anymore? It’s OK to unfriend them if you feel uncomfortable. Likewise, if someone is attacking you online, don’t be afraid to hit the block button. Remember, your social media profile is like your personal brand: it’s represents who you are, so don’t be afraid to show off your strength!
Keep Your Mobile Device Safe!
Your phone holds a lot of important and sensitive information about you, your friends and your family, so it’s important that you keep it protected at all times. Keep all your apps up-to-date, and delete the ones you don’t use anymore. This will protect your phone from unwanted viruses due to outdated security patches and fixes. If your phone has touch identification, consider taking advantage of it; or make sure to come up with a good password, PIN, or swipe pattern to protect your information in case your phone is ever lost or stolen.
It’s important to know that your information — games you play, websites you visit and even where you shop and live — can be collected through the apps and websites you frequent on your phone. Think carefully about what information you choose to share with apps, and minimize the amount of information you share online. Take advantage of the privacy and security settings on your favorite apps and websites to regulate what information is shared, and what information is kept private.
Cyber Travel — Safety on the Go!
Planning a vacation online has quickly become the norm. You have an abundance of options and package deals at your fingertips. However, it’s important you consider your internet safety while booking a trip. Make sure to only purchase hotel rooms and fun activities using secure websites. Websites beginning with ‘https://’ or ‘shttp://’ take extra measures to secure your information. Sites that start with ‘http://’ are not secure, so be wary when considering purchasing items via an unencrypted site.
Packing for that vacay? Don’t forget to secure your online presence before you leave! Turn your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth services off when not in use. You should be extra cautious of public Wi-Fi networks — they’re unprotected, so anyone could potentially have access to your information. If you really need to connect, try and add a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or personal hotspot to your device. You should also be cautious about location services on your devices. Your location can be determined even through pictures, so be sure to turn off location services when they aren’t in use. In regards to pictures, wait until you return home to post them online. It may seem fun to give your friends and followers live updates, but sharing details about being away from home can target you for break-ins and theft.
In addition to these tips, Symantec partnered with STOP. THINK. CONNECT. to publish an additional list of tips to ensure your safety all year long. Have a fun, safe and secure summer!
Last updated: June 16, 2017