Protecting your online data is crucial

Imagine getting all of your personal information stolen just because you clicked a link that said “You won a $100 Visa gift card”. Unfortunately, that isn’t so far-fetched in today’s society as everyone is active online. 

With the digital age booming, almost everyone young or old has a form of an online presence used for work-related situations, banking or other communication purposes like email. Not to mention the variety of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok plaguing every teens phone in which you post intimate details about your personal life.

There is no surprise that criminals have found a way to obtain money and personal information from innocent online users. More often than not it is upsetting that the majority of the people scammed are either the youth or elderly as they are easily targeted. 

This is why we as students need to put in a greater effort to protect our information. How much would you pay if every private photo, message and bit of personal information was leaked? Not only is it human nature to keep your life private, it should be a concern that there is potential for that information to get stolen. 

Whether you know it or not you are being vulnerable online by sharing your vacation photos, tagging where you are and sharing your location with your friends or followers. You are also leaving a digital footprint on the internet for practically everyone to see forever. Being mindful of that and limiting your personal posts or realizing when it might not be a good idea to post certain information is one of the keys to keeping yourself safe. 

Being cyberaware is just as important as making sure your house is locked up before you leave. Many don’t take advantage of the resources out there for the public that will teach them how to be safe online. 

Something as simple as changing your password on different accounts can benefit you in the long run. Also having your password be one simple word is a common mistake. Having complex passphrases mixed with multiple characters and numbers is a way to create a stronger barrier between you and those whose mission it is to steal your information.

Multifactor authentication is a good way to make sure you are the one who is signed into that account. If you receive a message that someone is trying to sign into your account that isn’t you then you should contact someone as soon as possible. 

The Minnesota State University, Mankato even offers a cyber awareness podcast that talks about the cyber world as well as videos and tips on how to shield your social media.

Regardless, there are ways online user can protect their information. You owe it to yourself to do the best you can to not end up getting scammed.

(File Photo/The Reporter)

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