Tech Safety, and why you might want to cover that webcam….

Laptops, Televisions, Cellular phones, and personal tablets all come with a pre-installed front facing camera.  However these cameras are only active when you want them to be right?

As much as we live in a world where you would like to believe that only those who you grant access to your webcam will have access, we must also understand that we live in a world where the internet can grant anyone access to anyone else’s computer, all you need is the “know how”. And although you may think, I have “nothing to hide” You would be wrong.  How easy is it to get into your computer? All it takes for you to accidentally accept an e-mail, open a link, or click accept on a piece of software you think you are downloading for yourself. Hackers slip malware into things where you are most likely to click. Bam… They now have access, time to ask yourself these questions…

Where do you use your computer?
Who is in your personal area when you are on your computer?
Do you have children who may walk past?
Have you ever been naked while using your computer?
How many times have you taken out your bank card to buy something on your computer or personal device?
More importantly, have you ever done something embarrassing in front of your computer?  picked at your teeth, your nose, popped a zit, sniffed your armpits, ate an entire tub of ice cream while crying your eyes out to a youtube of a cat just being a cat…. I’m not judging I swear…. I just want you to be safe from blackmail.  

Also while I myself am not the most paranoid when it comes to technology, I often take precautions to prevent unnecessary problems that may arise.

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And here are a few precautions you can take to protect yourself and your family.

  1. Tape up that webcam, If you use it periodically to talk to grandma then put a sticky note over it, they are re-usable.  (this also applies to webcams on televisions.
  2. When it comes to e-mails always look at the extension they are sent from… Does it look 100% valid. The CRA, Your Bank, or the postage company have all had emails sent out that look like they are from them. Remember an email that looks like infoTD@xme.com is not a real email address. Double check them, Spelling and grammar also count, your “friendly neighbour hood hacker” is not always the best at English.
  3. Don’t just click accept…. “WHAT! You expect me to read that whole contract?” While you may not want to read that whole contract, you need to know what permissions you are handing away to use their service.  This is how the whole Facebook mess started in the first place. (article to come)
  4. Careful when it comes to permissions, When it comes to your devices check your applications, do they need your gps location, microphone access, camera access?  Really? Check your list of applications on your phone and only allow access to those who really need it.
  5. CHILDREN,>> This one is the most difficult, although it seems the easiest. And to me, this one is the most important.  Many people choose to just not allow their children on computers, however I will tell you a rebellious child will find a way.  The best thing is to TEACH them the rules and how to use the computer, or the smartphone, tablet.  Teach them what can go wrong, and if something does to talk to an adult.  My children both have e-mail addresses, and ipods that allow them to text myself and my husband. We find that by giving them the devices we teach them how to use devices appropriately.  There are FANTASTIC applications such as OurPact, which allows the parent to monitor the Childs usage. We use this application to monitor their applications, time spent on the device, and remotely turn off applications, or lock up the whole device.
  6. Duel Authentication.  – Now for those who have not heard of Duel authentication, this is basically an extra step it will take you to log into a device.
    example: If I want to log into Facebook on my computer, I must have my cellular phone with me. This means that Jake from Utah, cannot log into my account and spam all of my friends with a “Save me I’m in prison in Timbuktu and you need to send me $1000.00” message. This also means when I click on an outside link, it will ask me again to log into Facebook to give my password to Jake from Utah, which I know to disregard.  (I’ll insert a link here on how to set up two factor authentication in the future.)

Now all that being said, The internet is a dark and scary place, but it can provide such joy, and light to your world.  By taking pre-cautionary measures you can use the technologies to connect with family and friends, share photos and memories, shop for hard to get items, and even run a business.

Did I miss any tips? Do you have suggestions, Comment on this post and I may feature your comment.

Kayleigh May 

 “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Benjamin Franklin

 

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