Smart Tips to help you Be Safe in Cyberspace-

Be Safe while gaming online
“Friends” you make while playing online games are actually strangers, since you don’t know them offline. People you are playing with online, no matter how long you’ve been playing with them or however ‘friendly’ they may seem to be, may not really be who they say they are. There is absolutely no difference between chatting online and chatting on a gaming site.
So refrain from chatting with strangers.

Beware of Phishing
Yesterday I received an email informing me that I had won the lottery! The only problem is that I never bought a lottery ticket. If you get a message informing you that you have won a contest you did not enter, you can bet that the message is a phishing scam.
Phishing (pronounced “fishing”) is a kind of identity theft which is one of the most prevalent forms of Cybercrimes. By using fraudulent websites and false emails, perpetrators attempt to steal your personal data – most commonly passwords and credit card details/financial information.
Every day countless phishing emails are sent to unsuspecting victims all over the world. While some of these messages are so outlandish that they are obvious frauds, others seem less ‘fishy’. Be wary of emails asking for personal information and protect yourself against phishing.

Anonymity in Cyberspace – Fact or Myth!
Anonymity is a powerful force. Hiding behind a fake screen name makes us feel invincible, as well as invisible. Anonymity on the Internet is a myth – we’re not as anonymous as we think and we’re not anonymous at all on social networking sites, such as Facebook.
Even when we reveal our real identities, we tend to misbehave. Since there is no physical threat involved, the Internet gives us the liberty to say things to strangers that we would never dare to say if we met them.
Be careful with the words you use online, just the way you are when talking to a person face to face. Give respect, get respect!

Secure your ALP Password
The increasing incidence of password leaks reveals the same, depressing reality: we still use really predictable passwords! We are aware that the most commonly used and consequently most vulnerable, passwords include “password”, “p@$$w0rd”, and “1234567”.
Latest research shows that Android lock patterns—the password alternative Google introduced in 2008 with the launch of its Android mobile OS—can also be cracked within a matter of seconds.
Quick tips to secure ALP passwords:
• Choose a password with more nodes and a higher complexity score.
• Incorporate crossovers, since it makes it harder for an attacker looking over the target’s shoulder to trace the precise sequence.
• Open the security category in your Android settings and turn off the “make pattern visible” option. This will prevent the drawing of lines that connect each pattern node, making shoulder surfing even more difficult.

Tips for Internet De-addiction:
Today, students and their smart phones are almost inseparable and it’s quite common to find students dividing their attention between texting, checking social media websites and surfing the internet, while doing homework and studying for exams
Studying or doing homework while sitting in front of the computer, using social media or texting, makes it more difficult to learn and retain the information, increases the time it takes to complete homework, and may ultimately result in lower test scores. If you’ve been juggling studies with surfing and your grades are suffering, it’s time to break the multitasking habit.
Here’s the quick tip: After studying/doing homework uninterrupted for a stipulated time period, let’s say 20 minutes, take a technology break for 2-3 minutes to text/post. Gradually, extend your study time to 30 or 45 minutes and perhaps extend the tech break time to 5-7 minutes.

Visit Safe Sites:

While shopping online, beware of fake websites posing as legitimate retailers. The festive season can specially be a boom time for scammers who want to have a merry season at your expense.
It is important to check names and web addresses carefully for subtle differences that indicate the site is a fake and wherever possible limit your shopping to known and trusted names.
To differentiate a safe site from a fake site, look for the ‘lock – a ‘secure green lock’ icon and web address starting with ‘https://’. If a shopping site only offers you to pay by money order or wire transfer, steer clear – it’s rare to recover money sent this way. Only pay via secure payment methods.

Burglars might ‘Check Into’ your house too
“Hey, I’m going to be on a weeklong vacation on the 25th of May, please come rob me”, that’s exactly what you’re saying to social network trolling criminals when you post your vacation plans/ photographs and when you ‘Check In” while you’re still on vacation. Wait until you are safely home before uploading your vacation snaps or talking about your vacation online. Is “checking in” at the airport or a fancy restaurant really worth leaving your personal property vulnerable to attack?
Post your vacation pics on social media only after you’ve ‘been there, done that’….

Leave Clean Digital Footprints
Your digital footprint is a record of your online activities. Each time you enter the digital world, you leave behind a trail of footprints through status updates, posting comments, sending emails, chatting, uploading videos etc.
Unlike footprints on the sand, your digital footprint can never be washed away. Remember that most universities/recruiters check the digital footprint of the applicant before granting admission/job. So it is very important to have a clean digital footprint. It Counts!