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A Guide to Staying Safe on Digital Platforms

30 Jun 2024
A Guide to Staying Safe on Digital Platforms

Fortunately, we don't hear every day about cybercriminals targeting specific online platforms. However, they are very active and try everything to profit from the data of registered users.

Of course, these platforms are aware of these dangers, so they invest heavily in their security infrastructure. However, they can only do part of the work; users must contribute the rest. This is not as difficult or time-consuming as it sounds.

Don't get involved with dubious platforms

It should go without saying that you should never get involved with a dubious platform.

How do you recognize a dubious platform? Quite simply:

  • The platform does not have official certifications or licenses
  • Content and features are not verified by reputable organizations
  • Few payment options, hardly the most common ones like Paypal and Visa
  • Limited selection of features or content
  • No cooperation with well-known partners or providers
  • Bad reviews

It's very easy to find out about the reputation of a platform these days. Independent rating platforms are the most reliable, as unfortunately there are some sites that publish reviews written by ghostwriters and therefore inauthentic. There are even sites that maintain blacklists based on user experiences. If the name of your chosen platform is on it, it's better to choose another one.

Strong passwords are a key to success

When creating an account, you always have to set a password. The mistake most people make is to use one that is too simple or even one that is used for various other platforms.

A password manager can be very useful for creating secure passwords. However, it can also be hacked, so you should always write down a password with pen and paper. It's best to make two copies and keep them in different places in case something happens to one of the paper notes.

Access only from your own devices

It's tempting to just use a public computer when your own device's battery is low. Unfortunately, those devices are very vulnerable to being used for other purposes by clever individuals. The keyword here is data espionage, more in the context of rummaging through the history and then running malicious software. Accordingly, you should only use your own devices, no matter what the circumstances.

The same applies to the network you use. Publicly used networks are by no means secure. At best, you can watch a few videos or quickly search for something. You should never enter sensitive data over public Wi-Fi networks.

Finally, you should not share the device you use to access platforms with others. You never know if a seemingly distressed stranger won't take the opportunity to spy on your data.

Watch out for phishing

Phishing is by no means only done by phone, but also by email, SMS or even messaging apps.

At first glance, you receive a message from a platform you are registered on. However, it claims that you need to re-enter your password and use a special link to do so. With text messages, you pay attention to answering with Y or N, which confirms a desired input from the other party.

A reputable platform will never contact you to get a password or other sensitive data from you. The only exception is contact as part of the verification process. You should also save the email address of a platform. Phishing is done through email addresses that are different and combined with additional numbers and symbols.

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