We all know by now how important is it to change the passwords or how important not to give in to the scams or even why shouldn't we be giving in our privacy on the internet. But sadly, however we know the importance, not all understand the urgency. Over the years, my online time and experience has taught me a few things that we need to really keep in mind. These are the basic things but still we become lazy at times to follow. Let's begin with passwords - the most important thing in the virtual world.
Anything on the dictionary can be deciphered. So, it’s wise to punctuate the passwords with dots, commas and other characters. We should try and keep the passwords strong by extending the characters to 8 or more, using a mix of upper and lower cases, mix of alphabets, numerical and special characters.
Birthdays, phone numbers, addresses, spouses' nick names - all are very weak passwords. We need to change them to stronger ones by using abbreviations like, I love Susan becomes ILS or Susan my sweet heart becomes SMSH or Susan followed by a unique date that only you know (skip the birth dates and anniversaries) and so on.
The security questions are generally weak. Anyone close to us would know the answer. We need to change the spellings or customise our own questions for full proof safety of privacy.
The password of the online bank should be changed regularly to stronger ones. They should not be the same as any other account password. Also, do not open spam mails and give in your Paypal, Money bookers or other online bank email IDs. Hackers have amazing talent, you better not give them benefit of doubts.
I have a pet peeve that I want to share. I don't hate chain emails as much as I hate to find them coming with unguarded email addresses of the forwardees. Being responsible internet users we must abide by the email etiquettes and ensure privacy of co-users aswell. A BCC (blind carbon copy; also Bcc) is a copy of an email message sent to a recipient whose email address does not appear in the message. This is in contrast to To and CC recipients, whose addresses do appear in the respective header lines. Every recipient of the message can see all the To and CC recipients, but does not know about BCC recipients. We can do this much. Don't we?
Going by the highs in technological inventions, I think, there would come a time when we would sell our privacy to the third parties. Shockingly, we are doing it even now. Anything we post on internet is permanent and once we post it we just have had it! Companies track our digital fingerprints for various surveys to their benefits. So, we better be safe than sorry.
Christopher Null, the gadget guy, tells us to try this:
Take a photo and upload it to Facebook, then after a day or so, note what the URL to the picture is (the actual photo, not the page on which the photo resides), and then delete it. Come back a month later and see if the link works. Chances are: It will!!
There is no such thing as "deleted" on the Internet! So, you better be careful before posting anything for once you click you have had it! So all those drunken party photos you don't want people to see? Simply don't upload!
Happy and wise networking!