It seems to be everywhere but people are still making a lot of mistakes. I do not want to see you fall victim so I decided to be a mom; scream it once more into your ears till it sinks. The internet has become very accessible and technology is moving faster than time now. Let me start by telling you the major threats you stand to face if you are on the web. You may have heard these before but no knowledge is wasted. I would love you to guess this first one. Can you try? Come on one more guess! I am in a good mood so here it is:
- YOU: Yes! I know you will not intentionally harm yourself but here is how you can while using the web. Do you just post anything as the spirit leads? If you post things to boost your popularity on the internet then it is time to think again. You need to be smart and post intelligently. Remember that whatever you post on the internet lasts forever. It will always be there! This could cause you any type of harm in the near future. Think of it! Have you seen or heard people dig up “dirt” to sabotage the effort of people trying to get up the ladder of life. People are trying to get somethings off the net because they posted it without thinking of the future. Please save yourself from regrets later.
You can protect yourself from this by analyzing your posts before you post. Ask yourself some questions like, “How will my granny react to this post”? If you do not have a granny, then put someone who will be honest enough to you in the place of your granny. Think of it this way, “Do you want to be chasing some kids to stop them from seeing something you put on the net years ago”? I wont want that; so please post things you would be proud of in future. It is not just about the pictures, but the words and so on. If you get a positive response, then POST IT.
- ONLINE PREDATORS: The internet is like a web it catches all sorts of people on it; the good, the bad and the ugly. BEWARE! Scammers, bullies etc stick so hard to this web and they are waiting to devour you. Be sure of who you interact with on the internet. Do not be in a hurry to make new friends or think you have known someone well enough over the internet thus you begin to share personal information as well as disclose vital and delicate information to people who could harm you. Do not jump to have private meetings with people you meet on social media platforms. If you have the need to meet the person let it be in a public and convenient place. Lots of lives have been lost because of these meetings, please save yours. Remember your mama always says you should not take candy from stranger. Candy could be that lovely shoe advertised on Instagram or Facebook. Use this same internet to get reviews about online shops and their services before you start any transactions. Don’t fall victim of fraud and online theft. Do you know a lot of online friends do not determine your happiness in life? Don’t fall prey! DO NOT BE A PREDATOR TOO!
This is enticing and I get curious and want to know what is there. Well that is the child in me acting. Ignore and read on please!
- ADULT CONTENT: Yes why should an adult worry about something for them. I mean pornography! It is everywhere; ads, pop ups and at times you are redirected to these sites. Should you be worried if you an adult, yes! Apart from infecting and crashing your device, internet gurus can do the unimaginable. You can testify! I said you should be concerned again because you don’t know the next person who could use the device and see that. If it an adult then you could worry less but if it is a child, how do you satisfy the curiosity that would have been triggered. If it’s a teenager they could get interested and without your knowledge satisfy their curiosity. The teen could pick interest in pornography and that doesn’t go well. Let’s be careful. Always see your computers and smartphones as loaded weapons that can destroy you also. Prevention is better than cure. You could protect yourself and even a young one by using filtering software like Qustudio, Family Shield, Kidlogger etc. Parents please synchronize your kids gadgets so you could know what they are up to. See what your children are up to when they are on a screen, engage in conversations to know the latest about their social media participation and look out for signs of bullying. DON’T PUT YOUR OWN EXPLICIT CONTENT ONLINE. It will always be there and it is meant to be for all eyes.
- EXTRA: Be careful when you pick calls not in your contact lists or unregistered. Don’t accept calls from strange numbers generally. If you take the call then be sure not to disclose anything personal till you know who you are talking to. If you feel threatened in any way do not hesitate to report to proper person(s). You could save your contacts using unpredictable names too.
No matter how careful you are, you could still be hacked but be sure to handle the situation intelligently. here are few tips on how you could do that.
- Report to appropriate authorities. these could be a site manager, or a provider of any service you were using. Let people (friends and family) know.
- Change your password; make it stronger and unpredictable. Please stop using easy things like 0000, 01234,your birthday or the name of someone dear to you, or your address. If you must write it down somewhere make sure it is also unpredictable. Handle documents with vital information with care.
- Have an up to date antivirus software and scan your gadgets regularly.
- Back up your files so you don’t lose everything.
We spend so much time online today doing so many things and I must say the web has really aided development. Anyone can access the internet including teens and even children. The gadget doesn’t need to be theirs. So just like you would want your ward, yourself or anyone to be safe at home or outside, please spread this message to enhance safety as we surf the web. You may not know you are saving yourself by spreading this message. I’m writing this for every person in this age of fast growing technology. If there is more to add please do not hesitate to share so we can learn. Please mummy and daddy do not buy gadgets that are inappropriate for your child’s age just to show off or to make them have what you didn’t have at the expense of your child’s safety. There are gadgets for different ages so choose wisely when giving gifts or buying and let it just serve its purpose.
Stay safe always.