To be cyber savvy or not to be cyber savvy? There’s no question. You have to be. It’s a mad, mad, mad cyber world out there and being savvy is really a must in this age of “Internet everywhere.”Being cyber savvy is more than just being tech savvy. Devices and software have gotten so friendly that you don’t really need to know how they work in order to make use of them. But you do need to know how to best use them safely and how to avoid online trouble.
Knowing how to keep you and your loved ones safe from harm online is a big part ̶ and perhaps most important part–of being cyber savvy. This includes the biggest threats from cyberbullies and cybercriminals. I think the best way to stay safe on the Internet is to try PIE (Protection, Intuition, and Education).
Obviously, protection in the form of security software is a great start. But not just any software will do. You should get Trend Micro Titanium Security. (You knew this was coming, right?) Oh, sure you can get some free AV (antivirus), but you’ll get what you pay for and that’s not enough. Trust me. Whatever solution you subscribe to, be sure that it is upgraded frequently by the security provider.
Why not start with a free trial of Titanium Maximum Security? It offers multiple levels of protection:
Obviously, I’m recommending Trend Micro security because it works great and I work for them.
For me, intuition is just using my gut and my common sense. Everyone has gut feelings, but not everyone uses them. We all should. Unfortunately, common sense may not be as universal as gut feelings, but let’s agree that the vast majority of humans have it and we should use it as well.
Here’s a practical application of intuition: if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Or if something doesn’t “smell” quite right, assume that it is not kosher. In fact, you should assume that everything you do and everywhere you go online is definitely not legit. Be very, very skeptical of everything you read or see on the Internet.
When it comes to posting information on social networking websites, this is also a good time to listen to that small voice that’s screaming, “TMI! TMI! TMI!” (Too Much Information). Please don’t ignore these persistent warnings from your gut. You don’t want to regret the idiotic act that you may be about to make.
Education is all about awareness. In order to be safe online, you have to know what’s going on. You have to pay attention to the news, visit education sites like “Internet Security @ Home” and read blogs like SimplySecurity. You have to keep a finger on the pulse of what’s going on out in the “real world.”
For instance, if there’s a major natural disaster anywhere in the world, you can be sure that in addition to the legitimate relief efforts and requests for money, that there’s going to be more than a few fake solicitations.
Cybercriminals are always trying to take advantage of these situations to scam money from the unsuspecting do-gooders. If you stay informed and educate yourself, you’ll know what to avoid online or see the red flags based on your knowledge and previous experiences.
So remember, if you want to be cyber savvy and stay safe online try PIE.
I work for Trend Micro and the opinions expressed here are my own.