Ensure your valentine isn’t a virus this V- Day !

Roses are red, violets are blue, but does your security matter to your loved ones too?

My poetry skills apart, surely hope my point comes across clear. Why, because it’s the season of love and it the season of Valentine!

It’s that time of the year when card shops are overcrowded, flower prices double up and restaurant reservations are difficult to come by. Yes we have all done it and somehow it always feel as if we are unprepared year after year. How many of you’ll are prepared for this Sunday, Feb the 14th 2016?

Presume most aren’t as usual and in this haste we usually turn to the internet to surf for the best suggestions and quick deliveries. Others might even look to find their companion online. In either case, these could be prime hunting grounds for cybercriminals who are all warmed up to exploit the festive season.

Another challenge and an important thing to consider is how open kids from the Gen Y or Z are in meeting people (from the online world) in real life. Did you know that almost (44%) of the children polled in the Teens Tweens Technology 2015 survey by Intel Security confessed that they would meet or have met someone in person that they first met online. Astonishing isn’t it!

How comfortable would you as a parent be if your child were to meet a stranger from the internet? Romance and its evil partner deception may extend into our digital lives and can easily take advantage of our innocence if we let them. The sad part is that along with heartbreak, victims may also have to encounter humiliation, blackmail, stalking and swindling. How’s that possible, you would ask?

Well, dating and partnership/ friendship sites are favourite haunts for cybercriminals who look to take advantage of people eager to find a connection online.

So what should you do this Valentine’s Day? Sign off social media accounts & disconnect from the internet? No. Instead, learn how to stay safe online by reading the tips mentioned below carefully!

  • Valentine’s Day E-cards
    Don’t open attachments sent from unknown senders: We check our email eagerly on V-Day and see that we have a Valentine’s Day e-card. We open it, thinking it’s from a secret friend, but it’s actually from a cybercriminal. The MALWARE can easily be disguised as a gift so watch out.
  • Definitely delete!: If you send personal or intimate messages, make sure to delete the content from your device as soon as possible. In the wrong hands they can cause you harm even years later.
  • What goes online, stays online:Once you share, post, tweet, etc. your private information is often available to the public and out of your control. Hence, STOP THINK and then SHARE
  • Take off your rosy spectacles to get a clearer view: What you see online is not always the truth. Identities can be created and false address and bogus photos uploaded. Don’t accept everything at their face value online. If it is too good to be true, then it probably is!
  • Think before you click: Has an unknown admirer sent you an e-card? Do not click unless you were expecting one. It may be a scam to make you divulge your password.
  • Stick to real world friends: It’s exciting to meet persons with similar interests online but there is always the element of doubt and danger. It’s one thing to meet someone you know but have never met and completely different to accept an invite from someone who is not verified so ensure to let a guardian or a parent tags along whenever you have to meet someone who you’ve only interacted with online
  • Never overshare: In the digital age, your digital ID is very important. You have to safeguard it like you would safeguard your prized possessions. Keep your phone number, address, passwords, and nicknames absolutely secret. For adults, this includes workplace details and bank information. As a thumb rule, we shouldn’t trust someone who tries to get us to share these.
  • Suspect your account has been compromised? Take remedial action now: If you have inadvertently shared your device or social media password with another, reset the same immediately. Inform all friends about a possible hack, if you suspect one on social media accounts, then report them to the relevant authorities immediately.

It goes without saying that all devices of all family members need to be secured with relevant filters activated. The safety of our family is top priority, and security tools are essential to this. It is of utmost necessity to verify site authenticity as well as profile information before trusting anyone online. While educating your kids, enforce the need to share information on this ‘Unfamiliar’ person with parents in case they do decide to meet the stranger. It’s extremely important for the kids to understand that if one family member’s privacy is compromised, the entire family may have to face the consequences.

Have a safe & secure Valentine’s Day!