Internet is a valuable resource for almost everyone today. Whether it is work, education, or something else, the internet is actively involved in each of these activities.
For school and college students, the internet is a world that holds knowledge. It is the best place to search for information from reliable sources, and through study, it can be easy to get better grades.
But unfortunately, the internet has dangers that need consideration, too. Phishing and cyberbullying are some of the threats that are targeted at the younger population. However, they are not the only ones.
As technology has penetrated every aspect of our lives, we use the internet to exchange confidential information and make financial transactions.
So, yes! There are internet dangers beyond phishing and cyberbullying. Some of them might not be as easily detected as a deceptive email letter. Let’s explore some of them!
Online Predators and Manipulation
Predators have always existed, even before the internet. But they are growing in numbers as more and more people invest their time on the internet. The predators use online platforms to trick users, especially youngsters, into revealing information or paying for fake services.
Unsuspecting users befriend these malicious individuals without realizing their true intentions. While pretending to be friendly, these strangers might ask various questions, such as your social security number or where users live. In other cases, they might ask for pictures of images in exchange for certain goods.
In many romance scams, potential suitors might take months or years to lure their victims in. During the COVID-19 pandemic, BBC reported a tremendous increase in attempts to deceive people looking for love. Thus, please bear in mind that not all people you meet have the best intentions. Sometimes, they are after your money or personal information.
Mental Health and Mobile Devices
As per recent statistics, users tend to spend around a quarter of the day glued to a screen.
It is known that people who spend more time on the internet tend to be less social. Less social interactions and high screen time disrupt their education. The stress caused due to getting a lower score at school or not completing an important project can lead to mental health issues like depression. These issues can further lead to making wrong life decisions like choosing a career path or a job.
Hence, it is necessary to limit your screen time as much as possible. How about getting a pet and spending some time outside? Instead of a screen, you will get a real friend for life!
Private Information and Social Media
Writing something on social media platforms and sharing it with your social circle is not entirely wrong. However, when we share something openly, people can use it against us.
For instance, imagine sharing that your house will be left unsupervised for two weeks because you are traveling to Bali. If potential burglars see this post, they know that these two weeks is the time to strike. Of course, in rare cases do such things happen because of social media. But the fact is that there have been such instances.
Additionally, please bear in mind that your online experience is in no way private. Typically, thousands of services are able to get significant information about you. For instance, your location is one of the details mostly all websites get to know. And some users feel uncomfortable about the lack of privacy in the digital space.
How to Counteract these Online Dangers?
All of these internet dangers targeted at you or your children can be avoided using the following methods!
- Use a VPN
No matter if it is your phone or your laptop, install a VPN app on it. It will ensure that all of your online data is encrypted and safe. It also prevents websites from learning your true location.
- Lock the social media apps
If you have any social media app on your phone, it is best to lock these apps. This will ensure data security and shield from predator attacks even if your child tries to access it. Also, set your profiles to private: no need to allow random strangers to look at your photos and posts.
- Connect to secure networks
Instead of using public Wi-Fi, it is best to connect to a secure hotspot. It will keep your online interactions secure. If there are no reliable Wi-Fi hotspots around, stick to cellular data.
There are countless internet attacks that can get into your accounts and steal your personal information. These dangers can even lead to identity theft, financial loss, or getting a virus on your device. By following the above-mentioned tips and using them in real life, you will surely be able to use the Internet safely without being harassed by online predators!