Internet Safety: Making Sure You Stay Safe Online

The Fire Warriors community has always prioritized the safety of their members first. With that being said, however, there has been a massive influx of hackers, trolls, and child predators that have made their way into various online communities. Read more to find out just what these people are doing – and better yet, how you can stay safe amidst it all.


What is Hacking?

Hackers illegally access devices or websites to steal peoples’ personal information, which they can then use to commit the crimes like theft. Many people shop, bank, and pay bills online. People also store financial information, like credit card or bank account numbers, on their personal devices. A hacker can do a lot of damage even if only one account or device is compromised. To make matters worse, hackers are difficult to stop because they are often located outside the United States and use cutting-edge technology to evade law enforcement and acquire large amounts of information.

What are some ways we can avoid them?

Use a password, lock code, or encryption: Make sure your passwords are at least eight characters long, with a mix of upper and lower case, and include numbers or other characters, and never use the auto-complete feature for passwords. You can use the storage encryption feature on your phone to protect your private data and set your screen to timeout after five minutes or less. Click here for more information regarding the 6 ways to protect yourself from hackers!

How To Protect Your Device

  • Make sure your security software is up-to-date. Devices’ operating systems and Internet-connected software (like email programs, web browsers, and music players) should be updated regularly. Your computer will typically notify you when a software update is available. – As well as this, ensure your antivirus (Windows Defender comes standard with most Windows PCs) are fully up-to-date.
  • Install antivirus and antimalware software. If you do not have security software, install a firewall and antivirus software and keep them up-to-date. There are a variety of reputable products available for free or that have a free trial period. These programs help identify the latest threats and allow a user to remove malicious software from their device. Do your research before installing any program and beware of scams that attempt to lure you into disclosing your personal information or that direct you to download programs that may contain malware. As mentioned above, Windows Defender is a free anti-virus that comes standard with most Windows PCs. Windows Defender will automatically scan most files before you’re able to install them to your PC. 
  • Disable connections when you aren’t using them. If your computer uses Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to connect to the Internet and other devices, you should turn these features off when you aren’t using them. This can prevent unknown persons from using your network or accessing your devices without your knowledge. As well as disabling connections when you’re not using them, I would strongly urge you do not connect to public internet connections (in restaurants, public buildings) because of the incredibly low security.

 

Trolling

What are social media trolls?

They’re people who deliberately provoke others online. By saying inflammatory and offensive things. They live to make people upset and angry. People like your fans and followers. They rant, post death threats, spew hate speech. They attack an opponent’s character. And say things to appeal to people’s feelings (rather than their intellect). They’re foes— not friends—of your business. Clearly.

Don’t mix trolls up with angry customers. The internet is filled with people stating their opinions. Including upset folk wanting to share their negative, but sincere, beliefs. Not so with these digital devils. Trolls often don’t believe a word they write. But say it anyway, just to tick off other people.

Simply stated… social media trolls = online bullies.

 

How can I avoid them?

Truth be told, there’s no simple way really to ignore trolls. The best you can do is ignore them. Trolls cause negative reactions in others because they want attention. So then… Just. Ignore. Them. Don’t fuel them.

 

 

Predators

sexual predator is a person who seeks out sexual contact with another person in a predatory or abusive manner. While some sexual predators attempt to exploit adult victims, many are child sexual predators. These abusers have a distinct sexual preference for children

How can I avoid them?

  • Avoid using suggestive screen names or photos. These can result in unwanted attention from online predators.
  • If someone is flattering you online, you should be wary. Although many people online are genuinely nice, predators may use flattery to try to start a relationship with a teen. This doesn’t mean you need to be suspicious of everyone, but you should be careful.
  • Don’t talk to anyone who wants to get too personal. If they want to talk about things that are sexual or personal, you should end the conversation. Once you get pulled into a conversation (or a relationship), it may be more difficult to stop.
  • Keep in mind that people are not always who they say they are. Predators may pretend to be children or teenagers to talk to kids online. They may use a fake profile picture and add other profile details to appear more convincing.
  • Never arrange to meet with someone you met online. Predators may try to arrange a face-to-face meeting with a child or teen. Even if the person seems nice, this can be dangerous.
  • Tell a parent or trusted adult if you encounter a problem. If anyone makes you feel uncomfortable online, you should tell a parent or trusted adult immediately. You should also save any emails or other communication because they may be needed as evidence. 

Please note:

If somebody on the Fire Warriors Discord server ever directly messages you and you are concerned for your safety, please report it to an @Main Leader. Our job is to ensure the safety of ALL of our server members, and the issues will be swiftly dealt with. You are never to blame if you encounter somebody like this, and we have systems in place to make sure you are heard and feel safe.

Thank you for reading this and remember, stay safe!

goul

Fire Warriors 4th in Command

Edited by

Sweater

Fire Warriors Main Leader

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