Ways To Protect Yourself From Online Threats

Online threats are everywhere.

I’m not scaring you but I’d like to share the common threats I’ve been seeing on my newsfeed recently that sometimes I’ve thought of disconnecting from my laptop and just go to the beach to relax but I can’t cause most of my works are done online. The internet may be a quite medium but take a look on it in a different perspective – it is super noisy.

ways-to-protect-yourself-from-online-threats

Here are the most common cases I’d like to share that poses a great threat to our privacy (and may lead to some emotional stress).

The First case, a couple of friends photos have been in used for fraudulent transactions. These transactions have been connected to buying and selling online where buyers have complained that this “individuals” have vanished after paying them. These are the bogus buyers.

Secondly, online bullying has been rampant in a medium where everyone is almost free to say what they think. I pity the victims and the bullies too. There is so much emotional stress. I’m sure they did not intend to offend (not all cases though). Same with others they just wanted to express their feelings too.

Lastly, social media statuses causing rifts resulting to “hugot” moments on the feed. Correct me if I’m wrong, we all have those friends who “intentionally” throw status updates to each other and remain quiet when they see each other.

Remember this, hate makes the noise “more noisy” online.

I’d like to emphasize that social media outlets are public spaces so how do we combat these threats?

Guys, it all starts within ourselves and I’d like to share a couple of social media ethics I established for myself to protect myself from online threats.

  • I enable privacy on the photos I share online. Thanks to privacy checks per social network we get to check what photos we get to share online. I must admit that I have been a victim of some sort of cyberbullying in the past where a photo of my “nerd” side was visible when searching my name. I realized it was my fault, I’ve posted that photo on a free website I created in the year 2000 (16 years ago) with my name as the file name and that’s why it appears on the image search results. So how did I get to resolve that issue? I sent an email to the website owner via the contact page to delete my old website that includes that photo and I’m glad they took action on it. For the case of my friends whose photos were used for fraudulent acts, they asked their friends to report the profile to Facebook. I’m glad these big wigs in the social networking industry took actions on it and took down the fake profiles.
  • Don’t just spread information. Be careful and skeptical. This is a must-remember if you’re an over sharer online like me. Make sure to validate the info on the website and it should come from a reputable name of the media company. Challenge the data before sharing it. I once shared a hoax news resulting to people questioning me in the past. Relax, chill. If you think you’ve shared an invalidated news – delete it or say sorry and commit to sharing only the reliable news. When in doubt, always ask.
  • When you see a “hugot” status updates pertaining to you on Facebook. Never throw harsh words on them. Never assume. Listen first and check if you’ve offended the person and when your name is being tagged, never reply immediately in public. Remember, we can’t please everyone. So what do I do to these cases? Channel your answers privately and be mature enough discuss and settle conflicts. Remember, tensions arise when WORD War happens.

I know we all have different takes on this cases but we have to remember that self-protection is part of being accountable online. Do remember to consider implications of what you share online regardless of the medium. Accountability is the main key.

Listen before reacting and think before you click.

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