The internet carries substantial risk, mainly because it’s rife with scammers and hackers looking to target victims. This can be achieved through malware or scam emails, so it’s always best to be vigilant so you can stay safe online.
Use encrypted logins
One method cybercriminals will use to target victims is obtaining their login details such as a username and password. They might use a keylogger which tracks the keys that have been entered when logging in to an account.
In other instances, they may be able to hack an old site which no longer boasts adequate security. Hackers can gain access to old passwords – on this basis it wise to never recycle passwords. So, one way to stay safe online is to use encrypted logins. Encryption algorithms help mask sensitive information so that if a bad actor ever saw the login details, they would be presented in the encrypted form – making them harder to decipher.
Only use verified payment processors
This point might sound rudimentary for people who are seasoned with web surfing; however, it should not be taken lightly. If you are being asked to pay money whether it be a fee or a deposit, be sure to double check the validity of the payment method. If it has established global companies such as Visa, PayPal or Mastercard then it is typically safe. This is not a golden rule for staying safe online – sometimes hackers may have recreated a near identical payment solution which poses as one of those companies. If you are not certain the payment method is valid, then ensure the platform you are using is.
Identifying yourself isn’t necessarily a bad thing
Many platforms will require you to offer some proof to verify your own identity. This process can often be off-putting since many users do not want to give sensitive information to companies and businesses. They are not designed to keep customers away. Instead, they deter fraudsters who otherwise might use the platform for illicit means. Platforms that require users to identify themselves are typically trusted as they are complying with relevant regulations and laws.
If you are registering with a well-known platform on a secure and verified web page and it is asking for you to identify yourself – it should be reasonably safe. However always bear in mind that there are risks to signing up with any platform, regardless of reputation. One way to know if you are using a trusted platform in the UK is to check whether the platform is licensed by the Gambling Commission. The Gambling Commission is the UK’s watchdog for gambling. If you live outside the UK, be sure to check who licenses gambling companies and check to see if the platform you are wanting to use is licensed by them. It’s wise to always do research surrounding licenses, whether it be an online shop, or any other platform you use regularly.
Gamers, particularly ones who are successful, are synonymous with having plenty of money. If you advertise yourself as a gamer, you immediately put a target on your back. For example, when a gamer wins big, they might post the video on YouTube. Other people might stream their gamer endeavors on Twitch (a streaming site) for their viewers to watch. Both sites may help people bring in a steady income through subscribers, payments sponsorships and so on – but ultimately, they make you a public figure.
Public figures have and will always be a target for criminals. Your viewers might not be the ones to target you, but when owning a large amount of capital there will be someone trying to take it away from you. This point is particularly relevant in an ever-increasing online world, but it remains the same for real life too – even for those who aren’t gamers. You might be in a social situation discussing how much you have earned which can just as equally put a target on your back. This point is true for anything you do online – it is a dangerous place and you can never be too careful. To stay safe online, avoid advertising anything about your finances.
Always do research
Hopefully, this has provided you with some ways to help improve your overall security when using the internet. To stay safe online, always be sure to thoroughly research a platform because, ultimately, you are liable for any oversights you might make, and it could cost you.