These 7 Things you Should Never Do Online

These 7 Things you Should Never Do Online

Sometimes we all make mistakes. We answer robocalls (those familiar numbers), click links we should have checked first, and open spam emails.

Everyone is vulnerable, but it is what we do next that counts. Do you believe the caller who claims to be an employee of your bank use your credit card on an untrustworthy site or download files from a sender you don’t recognize?

If you do, the consequences can be dire. Here are seven things you should never do online.

Don’t Fall for Fake Posts:

I’m sure you already know this, but it bears repeating: If you receive an email request to take part in a survey or for an opportunity to earn quick and easy money, don’t click on the link. 

The same goes for work from home jobs that seem too good to be true. Open a browser window and search for the company name plus the word “scam.” Chances are if it’s a scam, someone else reported it. 

If the email is from what appears to be a natural person, do a quick Google search for the person’s name plus the company name. If you have a LinkedIn account, sign in and search for the person and company. 

This is an intelligent way to confirm that the person sending you an email works for the company they claim. Check that the person posts regularly and is connected with others; those are signs that the profile is genuine and not just a facade.

Don’t Bypass Two-Factor Authentication:  

Use two-factor authentication. Yes, it involves a couple of extra steps, but the purpose is to protect you if someone tries to access your accounts from a device that the website doesn’t recognize. For example, anyone who uses Facebook is already familiar with 2FA. 

If you use a work, public, friend or family computer, or a new device to log in, Facebook requires you to verify that it’s you using 2FA. 

This is a no-brainer for any financial account and is recommended for your email and any service containing your banking information.

Don’t Reuse Password Formulas:  

You would never use a password like “123456”, “abcd1234”, or “password“, right? How do you remember them all if you don’t use a password manager? Do not write them on a post, do not store them on your computer or reuse them. It is best to use a password manager. They are easy to manage, and you avoid memorizing all the passwords for each online site you use.

Don’t Use Public WiFi:  

We know. Not using a public network nowadays is difficult, but you have to be careful about what you do when you connect to them. Save your online banking for when you have access to a reliable network, and be very careful about the sites you visit and the links you click. 

If you have no choice but to use a public network, it is best to use a VPN.

Don’t Post Vacation Updates While you’re Away:  

Most of us have stayed home this summer, but if you’re venturing out for a few days or planning a day trip, think twice before posting it. It’s so tempting to share updates and snapshots of the moment while you’re on vacation. 

Think of it like public announcements that say, “I’m out of town. My house is empty, and you can go rob me.” Wait until you get home to post your photos.

Never Diagnose Yourself on Medical Websites: 

Let’s say you have a persistent cough. If you search online, you may have pneumonia, tuberculosis, lung cancer, heart disease, acid reflux, chronic bronchitis or covid-19. After all, those ailments share similar symptoms, and you will most likely panic. 

Many hospital and health insurance websites are full of good, reliable information, but that doesn’t mean they should replace your doctors. Just as conspiracy theory videos can dominate political searches on YouTube, health misinformation can rise to the top of recommended videos and searches.

Don’t Take Quizzes:  

If you’re logged into a website and take one of those irresistible quizzes like “Which ‘Friends’ character is your soul mate?” you may be giving out personal information. When you take these surveys, you help websites build profiles to sell your data and target you with ads.

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