Published on December 11th, 2013 | by Olawale Daniel0
Is the Internet Hurting You? How the Internet Can Harm You and the Way Out
Everything in life has two sides, good and bad. The internet can be very good but in the other way, it can pose many threats for people using it. The internet world is no more a safe world and it can be a weapon of death that kills if care is not taken. In this article I will list out some ways in which the internet can harm you and the way out.
How to Stay Safe Online: Important factors to consider
IP Address exposure
Your IP Address is a public address that your computer or network router is assigned to. Whenever you browse or visit any website your IP Address is transmitted and recorded in log files on the servers you visit. With the help of this log your internet activity can be traced back to your computer and possibly to your home or office. In the recent years, IP Address has been of great use for law enforcers to trace hackers and cyber criminals but on the other hand hackers and other criminals on the internet can use the IP address to track down their victims.
Possible Way Out: You can hide your IP Address. Most internet users think they don’t need to hide their IP Address or think that it is only people engaged in illegal activities on the internet should be the one hiding their IP Address, but little did you know that some people on the internet are trying to harvest your IP Address and they can use it to harm you if care is not taken. When you hide your IP Address your public address on the internet become untraceable and you become anonymous. You can use various tools on the internet to perform this task; some of them are listed here.
Unscreened Internet downloads and software usage
Of recent, hackers have posed a lot of threat to old and young internet users. Once they have access to your internet through botnet they can do whatever they like and it is very unfortunate that we always see the handiwork of hackers, but they escape the law enforcers because it is very hard to trace them or catch them.
These cyber criminals can use the internet to hack into your computer and steal files from your database. From different cases, hackers has been able to hack into different categories of people and companies database stealing valuable files and use it for their own good but they get this access through what I call hidden passage through unscreened downloads, hardware and software usage.
Possible Way Out: There is always a hidden gateway for every hacker before they can be able to hack into anybody’s private data. They get access to many computer when their victims download and click without careful examination before they downloaded those files from the internet. In my opinion, I’d suggest that you should stop downloading any files that are not from trusted and reliable source because it is freely available. It is advisable that you save files that are important to you on external drives or removable drive and keep it in a secure place because hackers can get their hand on files you save on the internet especially those in the cloud – if your provider does not have a good infrastructure in place to protect them. Hackers cannot hack into files that do not exist; they only hack into files you save on your drives, be it on the internet drive or on your hard drive.
You may find it unbelievable if I tell you about the dangers that are related with the web cam on your PC. The camera can be of great use for video call and video chatting on the internet but it can also be very dangerous if use wrongly by hackers. Some hardened hackers can create a loophole into your Webcam and record videos of you or take pictures through the use of malware or via a Remote Access Trojan. Most laptops today come with a webcam and this has made most internet users to be frequent users of this powerful tool either for chatting or video conferencing. Hackers may be spying on you without you knowing through the webcam on your PC. Webcam can pose a serious risk to users because you don’t know if someone is watching you.
Possible Way Out: To stay safe from any harm related to webcam vulnerability you must use strong antivirus that has firewall. And you must not forget to always deactivate or cover the lens of the webcam when not use. Do look for the indicators light on your webcam if it turns on automatically it means someone is spying on you – however, you should always make sure your Adobe Flash Player is updated because they might be of help to hackers in planting those bad seeds.
Social Media Connection Spying or Social Engineering
This article will be incomplete if social network is not added. Nowadays everyone wants to be on the social network, either to connect with friends and family, meet new people or to perform various business transactions – especially for small business owners. Social connection can be of great importance in helping you to get connected to different people all around the world through the internet but at the same time it can connect with the cyber criminals. Beware of people who you share your valuable information with on any form of social media platforms; be it pictures, videos or general information, because you don’t what they are capable of using it for, and the number of people that will have access to files you send. Most cases of death through the internet investigated by law enforcers have their root from the internet social network connection. And this should tell us of the extent of dangers and impacts of social media networks on people’s lives.
Possible Way Out: Never share you address with strangers on the internet be it when you chat or when you are dating only because it is gateway to many harm. Your personal address be it email, home, mobile, office and other address that can make people to reach you are not be given out without caution. Don’t go to meet people you meet on the internet alone or without telling anybody. Verify people and know their reason for sending you friend request.
VPN services indirectly encourages hacking through unnecessary ads
Virtual Private Network (VPN) is designed to protect your data and identity over the internet but as we all know that good things also have their bad sides. VPN allows you to access websites with an anonymous address, but on the other hand it can be dangerous. Most company that offers this so called VPN or free proxy were run by Hackers. Most of VPN software has been invested with virus and adverts that will get you to click on and put your computer at risk or even damage it. Unknowingly to users of VPN or free proxy, personal information about you that you give as answers to question asked by VPN providers can be used against you. And the funny thing there is that these people can access your PC with the help of their software.
Possible Way Out: Never use a free proxy or VPN because using can allow your computer to be taken and get your identity stolen by cyber criminals. Don’t give out personal information to any VPN company. Instead of this, go for paid VPN services like Invisible Browsing VPN – they have integrity in the business.
Uploading Files for Awareness
Uploading files like video and pictures can be exciting and the easiest way to let the world see and know you are. According to a statistic collected about internet usage that was presented in form of an infographic, it shows that there are millions of people browsing the internet every minute of the day. And that Youtube, the world #2 most populous search engine on earth controls the majority of the share of these activities.
The internet today is filled with different sites that can help you to get popular without paying a dime all they need is your pictures or videos. Through the help of some popular video sharing sites people get to notice you quickly and easily, but little do you know that this action can be harmful. Video sharing sites helps enables users to upload their favorite video contents and these contents are rated by views or clicks it gets overtime. Uploaded files can get into the hand of anybody on the internet. Last year, many pictures of social media network users are stolen, but the secret leaks out when one of the picture impersonators was chatting with the real person that owns the picture. Also a while ago group of kids try to do crazy racing stunt and upload it on YouTube so then can get views but they die in the process.
Possible Way Out: Never upload what you don’t want the world to see on the internet. Anything that you wouldn’t like others to access, you must not share them on social media. Even, applying privacy settings for these files doesn’t mean others cannot have access to them. Hackers can hack the site using DDos attacks and similar ones.
The Devil with Internet Shopping
The internet comes bearing gifts. Mobile marketing and online shopping can be very fast and fun, but it can be extremely dangerous if your credit card details fall into the wrong hand along the process. Nobody would love to do stressful activities; we want to do one-click order from the comfort of our homes, we don’t like staying on the queue because there’s home delivery service.
Ordering products from the internet has its benefits and disadvantages; one of the benefits is that you don’t have to commute before you can access your item while you can be exposed to identity theft along the process.
Possible Way Out: Before you enter your credit card details or send money online, check to know if the site is trust worthy. Some marketing sites collect their money or swipe your card when they deliver your goods. Check this page it consist of everything has to do with online security and prevention.
Many of you may not know that these things could be spoiling the fun for you until now, and now that the secret has been revealed, you’re thereby advised to stay away from any of these. Do everything with due process and you won’t be having security breaches.
What have you been doing that has guaranteed you secured online activities till date or have you been breached before, how do you resolved the incident? Please share knowledge and let’s learn more.
John Callaway is the leading contributor to http://backgroundchecks.org. A site dedicated to helping you learn about privacy and security issues online.