Personal Internet Security

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Here are some safety tips that I've picked up on the Internet over the years... Golden Key

Never use the same password twice

  • Never use the same password twice. I mean only use a password once for one website and don't use it on another website. Keep each password unique.
  • Keep your passwords complex and not based on real words.
  • Use a password manager like LastPass to securely store your passwords and generate complex random passwords for you. Because you'll never remember them by yourself!
  • The reason you never want to use the same password twice is because websites can be hacked and, once they are, the hackers may have access to some of your details and can start to use these details on other websites. Make sense?!

Your account has been hacked

  • If your contacts are receiving junk mail and it looks like it's from you then you've most likely been hacked.
  • First thing to do is change your password to a unique one that you don't use anywhere else.
  • Then check if there are sent emails in your Sent folder that you did not send.
  • If there are do a virus check as there may be as there may be a little robot in your computer calling the shots.
  • Even if you change your password and get rid of possible viruses your friends may still get emails that seem to be sent from you. But what has happened is that they have just stollen all your contacts and they can pretend to send emails from you without having to access your account.
  • Moral of the story is: never, never, never, ever use the same password twice. There are a lot of password managers available for you to use. I use LastPass and it works really well.

Check before you add a friend

  • Please don't friend robots/fake accounts. Having friends that are robots weakens all of our personal privacy and security.
  • I'm trying to get my friends not to friend people who might be have fake, robot, compromised or store front profiles. Basically, by friending someone you can open up yourself and your own friends to compromises, nuisances and even identity theft (setting up duplicate accounts and pretending they are you). I know it's nice to friend pretty women (😉) but I'm trying to get my friends to be a bit more discerning/cautious as these are real issues.
  • I'm seeing a lot more fake/robot accounts asking to be my friend recently. And asking to be friends with my friends. Why do I suspect they are fake? Well, the profile picture is of a beautiful young women. And, in some cases, the picture is being used elsewhere (see below) on the Web. Also, the account has been created recently. And there is no content.
  • What I do is message them once with "Are you real or are you a robot?" and if they don't reply in a few days then I report the account. It's the neighbourly thing to do! wink emoticon
  • If you want to check if a photo is being used anywhere else then right click on it and open it in a new tab/window then copy the URL of the image then use and click on the camera click on "Paste image URL". Really interesting to see.
  • Good luck and lets keep this a safe place to be. Just to head off the inevitable NSA comments. They already know everything about us. I reckon these robot/fake accounts are more from petty criminals.
  • See