Whats up guys, welcome to episode 2 of safe in the wild ,brought to you by Call IT Services, where we give you advise on how you can stay safe in the world i.e on the internet! Every week we will be giving you helpful tips on how you can enjoy the internet with it’s many benefits while avoiding it’s countless pitfalls.
This week I’ll be tackling the topic of privacy, it’s a pretty big topic so will probably break it up into a few episodes. With that in mind I would like to lay a foundation by explaining how the internet works, with this understanding you will be able to see the internet from an outside perspective, Neo leaving the Matrix if you will.
Every one of us with the privilege of accessing the internet do so through a device: a router in most cases or your phone, this device subscribes to an internet service usually on a monthly subscription but can also be pay-as-you-go, where an Internet Service Provider gives you internet as a service.
Now the internet is just a bunch of computers communicating with each other, and the way computers communicate with each other is through an IP Addresses; open a web browser and visit www.google.com type: “what is my IP?”.
The result you get will be your address on the internet that your ISP has assigned to you, so you can communicate with other machines on the internet. It is also through this address that you can get tracked, because it is associated with the identity you gave to your internet service provider when you signed up for the service, on a sim connection this location will correspond to the nearest cell phone tower that you are connected to.
Only what you expose to the internet will be visible to other internet users. This IP address get translated into human language as URLs or the web address that we type into our web browser; www.microsoft.com for example.
Quickly now, you need a device that subscribes to an internet service, to use the internet, and see other devices that are exposing information to the internet.
“Make Sense, let’s Move On”
Now before you even begin thinking about getting on the internet, you need to understand a few things.
- There are 2 levels to keeping yourself safe in the wild; things that you do, and things that get done to you. One you have 100% control over, the other … not so much. Awareness is the key on both levels.
- Every website you visit is basically information that someone else has exposed to the internet, by visiting that website you make yourself vulnerable to the websites intent, weather that is to sell you something, or put a virus on your device.
- It is not the internet’s responsibility to keep you safe in the wild, it is your responsibility to make sure that you are properly equipped to be on the internet, the internet is a powerful place and with great power, comes great responsibility.
Know that we basically understand what the internet is and have some key considerations.
How can you protect your privacy before you jump onto the internet?
The following 3 points are a good starting point.
- Get an anti-virus on your laptop/phone or tablet. No, a free anti-virus is not good enough. An up to date anti-virus protects you from all known virus/malware and spyware attacks. Actively tracking every file that is running on your device while blocking and warning you about files with known virus signatures
- 2nd point; ladies and gentlemen please, please, please backup your data. You can take all the precaution in the world be the most aware net ninja, but the fact remains, these devices we rely on are machines and machines break so backup your data. Backups also help you recover data that was compromised in a virus or malware attack.
- Point number 3, when visiting a website make sure that the website is secure; how do you know if a website is secure? Every URL that does not begin with https://www.whatever.com is and insecure website, the key is https – You can usually tell if a website is secure if you see a lock icon just before the URL address. Never ever, ever share any sensitive information with a website that does not begin with https or have the lock icon before the web address.
Ok key take a ways from this episode;
- We connect to the internet through an internet service provider.
- The internet is a bunch of computers exposing information to the internet, you make yourself vulnerable to the websites intent when you visit it so be aware of your surroundings.
- You are responsible for your activity on the internet.
- Be prepared before you jump on the internet:
- Do not use a free anti-virus
- Backup your data
- If a website does not begin with https, do not share any sensitive information with that website.