The internet is a great resource for everyone! From web surfing to managing your finances to watching videos of cute animals! But, there may be dangers as well. Keep reading for a few tips to create strong passwords and to avoid scams so you can stay safe in the cyber-world.
Whenever you sign up for a website like Facebook, Amazon, or the Social Security Website, you will have to create a password. It is important to create a strong password that others cannot guess. See the tips below!
- Be sure that you choose a password that is unique, but easy to remember. Common passwords to stay away from are “123456”, birthdays, or the name of your pet.
- Create a password with a mix of capitals and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
For example, if I had a dog named Baxter and a cat named Snickers, my password could be “bAx&sNick.” By using only the first part of each pets’ name and by capitalizing random letters and incorporating a symbol, my password is hard to guess.
- Try using a short phrase about an important event in your life such as, “I was married in 1972.” Change up some of the letters with symbols: “iw4$m4rriedin1972.” By replacing the letter “a” with the number four (4) and the letter S with the dollar sign ($), I have created a unique password.
- Write down all of the websites you have accounts on, the email you used, and your password. Keep it all in the same place so you can refer back to it.
Try using the printable password record provided. Fill this out as you make accounts and keep it somewhere you will remember!
There are many schemes on the internet designed to deceive you into providing personal information or money. These requests might come as an email asking you to send money to a fake charity or by saying, “I am a friend of your daughter/son, she/he is in trouble. You need to send money to my bank.” Some emails may even contain malware which is designed to infect your computer with viruses.
You may be wondering how you can protect yourself against the schemes. Just remember these rules:
- Never fill requests for money sent via email. Even if the email claims to be your bank, you can call your bank to verify their request.
- Never give your passwords out to anyone.
- If someone is asking for a donation to a charity, be sure to research the charity before giving.
Be aware of who is sending you emails. Only open attachments or click links in emails from companies, organizations, and people you trust.
- If you see an advertisement on a website that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your instincts and do not click on the ad.
The internet is a great resource and provides an endless number of activities! Just like looking both ways before you cross the street, there are measures to take to ensure safety while browsing the internet. Use the tips above to make sure you are protecting yourself and your information. Happy web surfing!