The internet is useful, fun and necessary in this day and age but it can also can be a very dangerous place. We have set out some of the ways below to help you stay safer on and off line.
Never give your credit card, financial or personal information to others. If making an online transaction, make sure the website is secure and uses a reputable payment vendor like CCBill or PayPal.
Be aware of spoof sites that will try and steal your login credentials. Always double check the url of the website and ensure it starts with:
https:// and not http://
The letter "s" in the https:// shows the site is secure server.
Never fall for sad or sob stories from Scammers. The ones who lurk in dating sites are generally called "Romance Scammers". Romance Scammers are people who usually make up fake profiles and slowly lure you in by using attractive photos of individuals. Their aim is to make you fall in love with them or make you feel sorry for them. Then eventually asking for your hard earned cash or bank details to steal from you. While we try and delete any fake profiles when ever we can, we can never be 100% sure all profile is real. You need to treat everyone with caution.
If you are meeting someone in real life on your first few dates, then meet somewhere public. Please ensure you pass on their details to someone close and text them to let them know you are ok every hour and once when you arrive home safely. You should also ask your date's permission to pass on the information to your close relative or friend.
Never ever give out your passwords to others for obvious reasons such as the ones above.
Always be careful what you download. Hackers are clever and attach viruses to innocent looking files. This includes file sharing and images. Never open links you are unsure about, these can lead to malicious websites that can download viruses onto your device or computer.
Choose strong passwords. Do not use date of birth, simple words or things like pets names. Use a combination of lower and upper case letters, numbers and symbols eg: u@&5s5%rKNu4*fu^PM
Be careful what you post online. You may never be able to remove it again. Even if you do get it removed, people and other search engines may have copied it by now.
Personally Identifiable Information
Never use your real name, contact information or any other personally identifiable information on your profile. Granted you may have to put a photo of yourself but ensure there is nothing in the background to give away any personally identifiable information.
Uploading Your Photos
Like above, never upload a photo on your profile or anywhere on the internet that shows your address or private information, including your real name.
Always have an Anti-Virus software, firewall, and keep them and your Operating system up to date. This includes any apps or other software.
The list above is by no means complete and there are so many other ways to keep you safer online. We strongly advise you to do your own research as there are a lot of credible websites out there that give strong advice about staying safe online.