Most cybercriminals are after your sensitive personal information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and more. It is important that you take measures to protect this information.
- Your personal information is one of the most important things that you can protect when on the internet. Having this information compromised can lead to some major issues. Be careful about sharing too much when online. Often sites will ask for your information, but does the site really need to know it? Let's take a look at some examples of information that sites may ask for. For instance, they may ask for your email address. Now many sites are willing to give away free content, products or promo codes in exchange for your email. This can be a legitimate thing for them to ask for.
Often it will automatically subscribe you to receive a newsletter or promotion, but this may be something you're willing to give up. I actually recommend having two different emails. One that's your personal email that you use with friends and family, and one you can use for signing up for sites that require this. Another thing they'll commonly ask for is your physical address, or your phone number. They may also ask for credit card or banking information. They may ask for passwords, answers to security questions, as well as other personal information.
Now there are also an increasing number of sites and apps, which offer rewards in exchange for you filling out surveys. Again, proceed with caution. Be careful not to share too much sensitive information if you don't know what's being done with that information. Another thing to pay attention to is the information that's required when you're downloading an app to your device. They may ask for access to your location, contacts, the ability to post on your Facebook account and more. Pay attention to this and make sure that it's something the app needs to have, and something you're willing to share.
For instance here, I'm inside of my Samsung device and I searched for water under apps. Now I'm going to scroll down and just select an app here, I'll select Plant Nanny Water Reminder. Now when I click on it and then click install, you'll notice here that it says it needs access to in-app purchases, photo, media and files, not sure why they need that, and then device ID and call information. When they need to device ID and call information I start to wonder why they need that. There's so many apps that don't need this information.
So this is something you're going to want to check for and make sure that when you're downloading an app, that the information you need to share is something that you're willing to give up. Now obviously sometimes information is needed by a site. When buying something online, it may require you add a credit card number, your address and more, so that you can pay for it and have it shipped to you. In these situations however, you'll want to take extra precautions to ensure that a site is safe and secure. One way to do this is to check the sites URL. I'm going to navigate to Amazon.com and one thing I want to point out is the URL.
You can find out a lot about a site by its URL. It's important to use sites that have a URL starting with https, rather than just http. The 's' notifies that the site uses an SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, that verifies the site is authentic and most importantly, encrypts your information, making it much more secure to use. For sites that have additional security, you'll normally see a padlock icon next to the URL depending on the browser that you're using. This is another indication that the site is secure and encrypted, and if you click on the padlock it will give you more information about the site.
As you can see here, it does say secure and there's the padlock. If I click this, I get more information about Amazon.com. It's telling me the number of cookies, location, camera, and certain other settings. So if I click off of that. You'll notice that, this is a site that I would trust, and it's one that I already did trust, but I really like the fact that it has this https, letting me know that it's using SSL and it has the padlock icon. Now if there's a site that you want to use that you're going to share sensitive information on, I highly suggest checking to make sure that it does use SSL, in other words it does start with the https in its URL and look for the lock icon to make sure that it is secure.
Here I'll open up a new tab and I'll click on something else. Here I'll click on Avis, which is a car rental. When I click here, again this is a site that I trust. You can see here it has https and it's also secure. I can click there and it lets me know what it's using including cookies and other things. Also, in these situations, I'd consider what we discussed in the previous video, and that is to use safe and reputable sites. If there's a site you're not sure about, use Norton's Safe Web to check if a site is safe.
Or investigate it further by doing a Google search. Do not underestimate the importance of protecting your sensitive information when using the internet. Unfortunately there are a lot of people out there that will use this information in malicious ways. A little extra investigation can prevent a lot of issues from taking place, saving you time, money, and a lot of stress.
- Accessing your school's Internet policy
- Avoiding a negative digital footprint
- Understanding which websites are safe and secure
- Customizing your browser settings
- Staying secure when using the Internet
- Avoiding malware and phishing scams
- Using public computers
- Using free public Wi-Fi
- Purchasing textbooks online
- Taking precautions when browsing on mobile devices