With technological advancement, cybercrime is also becoming more prevalent. Cyberstalking and cyberbullying are two social problems where a person is persistently and deliberately abused online. Winning this battle is possible only if every person takes a role in fostering a welcoming and secure environment and educates themselves on preventing it from happening in the first place.
Communication via social networks and other online public forums can be socially and professionally beneficial. However, if you are not careful, it can lead to numerous undesirable consequences such as cyberstalking and cyberbullying.
Some of the disturbing statistics about these two cybercrimes are as follows:
- 38% of people experience cyberbullying every single day
- Almost 1.5 million in the US alone suffer from cyberstalking at least once a year
- Cyberbullying victims are from 3 to 9 times more likely to consider committing suicide
We live in a time when we need to take cybersecurity seriously. Unfortunately, the immense popularity of smartphones and the rise of social media have opened up an ever-growing number of ways for cyberstalkers and cyberbullies to hurt their targets.
With proper precautions, such as adopting digital hygiene, avoiding sharing sensitive data, masking your IP address with a VPN from a provider like Le VPN, both kids and adults can have remarkable and enjoyable experiences online.
#1 Avoid Sharing Personal and Sensitive Data
Given that people are oversharing their information online for a variety of reasons, cyberstalkers have an easy way of finding their victims. With public records available at the tip of your fingerprints, an abuser can quickly find its victim and continue the harassment.
Keeping a low profile on the internet is one of the best ways to ensure your safety. However, this can be hard for people who need to use online platforms for self-promotion or business-related activities. Therefore, if you must use your real identity on the internet, be very cautious about who you accept connection requests and messages from and how much of your life you share with the world.
Whether you make use of social media for work or fun, you should never disclose your phone number, location, and address on these platforms. If you do that, you are directing the stalker to move from online to offline, making your situation a hundred times worse.
As for the confidential data regarding your work, you should always encrypt them before moving the data anywhere else. Whether uploading things on the cloud or transferring them to a backup storage drive, ensure that the data is encrypted and can not be accessed by unwelcome guests.
Additionally, an extra layer of security for your personal and work information can be achieved by using strong passwords: the longer and more complex passwords, the better.
#2 Keep your Software Up to Date
When it comes to cyberstalking prevention, updating your software is probably not the first thing that comes to your mind. However, the truth is that regularly updating your software is critical if you want to prevent data leaks.
If you didn’t already know, many updates are created to address security flaws and help you protect your information’s safety. They are equally important for mobile devices as well as computers and laptops.
Cyberstalking often starts when an attacker pays someone to hack your account or enter the device and then utilizes the data obtained against you. To prevent this from happening, you must take updating your software seriously.
Many people are tempted to delay software updates as much as possible. The best tip is to set all your updates to install automatically. In that way, you will not be tempted to delay the update. This will keep you safe from all kinds of cybercrime, including cyberstalking.
#3 Adopt Digital Hygiene
Digital hygiene is a relatively new phrase that refers to a highly important top, specifically in the area of cybersecurity. Adopting cyber hygiene can help protect you against cyberstalking, cyberbullying, and cyber harassment.
Much like physical hygiene, digital hygiene is conducted to ward off natural deterioration and common threats. However, creating a digital hygiene routine isn’t as difficult as it may appear. A few essential practices implemented in your day-to-day life can dramatically improve your security.
Keeping your email inbox tidy and exclusive is one of the first steps towards good digital hygiene. Ensure to unsubscribe from any emails you don’t care for anymore, and organize the ones you need.
Every signal account and app can be used to harm you. With that being said, get in the habit of deactivating accounts you no longer use and uninstall applications that you no longer use. It not only saves storage, but it is also helpful with overall security.
#4 Mask Your IP Address
One very popular way people protect their identity from online threats is by using a virtual private network, better known as a VPN. Frequently, cyberstalkers hack victims’ devices to try and peek into their online activity.
However, when you use a VPN from reputable providers like Le VPN, you are essentially securing a path where information from your device is encrypted, so third parties or cyberstalkers can’t tie your activity to your personal information. This allows surfing the internet anonymously.
At last, consider combining a VPN with a good antimalware program, and you will boost your online safety by a considerable margin, which is the ultimate goal.
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