Rebecca Sounds Reveille – 7 Cybersecurity Tips to Protect Yourself – Episode 7 of the 7 series
WATCH SHOW BELOW INTRO ARTICLE
By TLB Media Director & RSR Show Host: Rebecca L. Mahan
Millions of people globally are victimized online. There are those who are victims of identity theft, those who are victims of cyberbullying, and those who are victims of stalking. Identity theft is rampant. Years ago people only had to ensure physical documents, such as a driver’s license or social security card, had to be guarded. In the event those type of documents were lost or stolen, a security alert could be placed with credit bureaus so fraud could be detected. Credit alerts and monitoring is still in effect, but the concern for guarding one’s identity doesn’t stop with safe guarding physical documents. Today one’s identity can be stolen virtually.
Cyberbully is also a virtual concern and there is no age or gender discrimination to it. People are victims of cyberbully in many ways. Cyberbullying takes place when there is one or more people who harass another via the internet, text messages, or email and cause them harm emotionally, mentally, and /or socially. For example, harmful or threatening posts on social media and texts or emails can devastate a victim’s reputation and well being. Cyberbullying is an outward form of harassment. Virtual cyberbullying can cause the victim long term suffering because things posted on the internet can remain for an indefinite period of time. These posts can affect the victim’s future opportunities in employment and relationships. Cyberbullying can carry over to the physical realm when the threats are actually carried out or cause the victim to carry them out.
A less obvious form of harassment, though maybe more damaging is virtual stalking. I say this because the fear associated with stalking leads the victim to question what the aggressor’s motives are. This fear becomes, much like cyberbullying, an internal monster. In this case, a victim does not know certain things, such as, if they are being physically watched at home or even being followed. There is often implied threats that are attached. Stalking is more silent than outward, though the perpetrator wants the victim to know they are being monitored- almost to the point of paranoia. It’s a type of control different than cyberbullying.
It may seem easier with cyberbullying in a sense because usually the threats can be seen in writing by the person who made them, along with what the threats are. Whereas with stalking, the victim knows or suspects their activities on or off line are being watched but may not always know by who. Even when they do know who it is, it isn’t always immediately apparent what is being monitored or what the perpetrator is going to do to them. Is is just one social media site or multiple? Is it only online or does it extend to physical stalking? Are they only going to be watch or will it manifest into a physical assault. Fear is massive with stalking.
Here are a few cybersecurity tips to protect yourself :
1) Ensure you have a password protected router. This is like being in a gated community and will keep most of the riff raff out. There are neighbors and others who will jump on an open wi-fi connection for free internet, but this also can allow them to get into files on your computer or multiple computers if you have a home network set up.
2) VPN- Virtual Private Network. Having a virtual private network keeps information private while running over public networks. There is an added layer of protection and encryption by using a VPN.
3) Turn off your computers when not in use. Leaving computers on can allow hackers and robots to run programs to breach the security you have in place. When the computer is not on, this reduces the chances of being hacked.
4) Set social media sites to private and only allow those you trust to be your social friend. Even then, watch what your friends are posting. If there are things that can put you or your reputation in a bad light, remove them. Those you are associated with can affect employment and/or relationships. Another point here is your friend can have friends you may not know who can then obtain information about you.
5) When posting picture online make sure your gps tagging in the camera is turned off. Photos have gps embedded within them and this can tell a perpetrator where you are. If you do choose to post photos use this rule of thumb: post photos a minimum of 24 to 48 hours after the photo was taken. In the event someone was trying to locate you- you aren’t at that location anymore and are long gone.
6) Password protect all of your electronics and websites you register with. There may be minimum and maximum digits to the sites but it is best to use a combination of 32 letters, numbers, and characters(symbols) along with capitals for your password and do not use any words. For example: iL0v3mYd00gI3 (I Love my doogie- but make it a 32 bit combination). Do not use the same password for every site and do not have your browser remember your passwords. Write your passwords down somewhere you can keep them safe and do not share them with anyone.
7) Finally, keep a separate email for official business you use and one for all the junk business you use. Also, when a website sends you an email with your user name and password for their site – delete it immediately and empty the email trash bin. Hackers gain a lot of user names and passwords for identity theft simply by hacking emails.
Watch this highly informative presentation …
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Parting Shot …
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About your host Rebecca L. Mahan: Rebecca is The Liberty Beacon Project Media Director, Host of TLBTV’s Rebecca Sounds Reveille, a United Stated Marine Corps veteran and a retired police officer of over 10 years. Rebecca is a published author and had been a long running columnist for a community college newspaper. She has also been an award winning radio show host and has produced, booked, and interviewed guests for her shows. Her education includes: Associates degrees in Christian Studies, General Education, General Business Management, and Law Enforcement. Rebecca also has a Bachelor’s degrees in Church Ministry and Occupational Studies -Vocational Arts, as well as a Master’s degree in Biblical Studies. She is a certified Mediator and Event Planner.
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