While the Internet has provided us with instant information and communication, it has also provided us with endless options for entertainment. No longer do you need to head to the Arcade at the Mall, buy an expensive PlayStation or drive/fly to a land-based casino as all of this is accessible online and, in many cases, free. But with all this stimulus comes drawbacks, some minor and some major. Addiction is one of these as well as scams or having our financial information breached. Someone will always build a better mouse trap but remember that the mouse is getting smarter as well.
How can I avoid these problems on the Internet?
Protect Your Identity
When you are purchasing something online through sites like Amazon and Online Casinos, you will of course have to provide Credit Card/Banking information as well as some personal information. With reputable sites your information will be secure and will in most cases stay in the hands of the company. With some less reputable sites, there is an increased chance of your information being “leaked” or sold. It’s incumbent upon you to do your research and make an informed decision as to which sites are reputable. There are hundreds of sites that provide this information, and if something doesn’t feel right, then go somewhere else.
I sometimes cringe when I see the type of information that people disclose on various Social Media sites. Images and videos (PG-rated) in my opinion are acceptable, if they are not shown with personal information. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Facebook posts that divulge a person’s day to day life along with their families. Advertising the fact that you are on a two-week vacation and that your house will be unoccupied is not a smart move. Pictures of your children and where they go to school is also a big no-no.
Common sense should be enough to filter any posts, pics, videos or opinions, unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be too much of that on the Internet, so please tread lightly!
We have seen the pop-ups while online of products telling us that we hare being hacked and need to immediately download their unique software to stop the attack. Well sometimes they are usually the attacker and are just trying to get more information to get into your hardware and software. Your best option is to purchase reputable Spy Software when you buy a new computer and keep it updated. There are plenty out there and some software is included when you buy your PC or laptop. My suggestion is to delete that spy software as its usually about average and spend a bit of money for something very reputable.
Having your computer hacked can be a traumatic experience and, in some cases, turn your world upside down. It can occur directly or through a site in which you provide information. Any site which involves financial transaction such as Amazon or ones where personal information is provided are always being preyed upon buy hackers. You would be amazed at how many times popular sites are attacked each day.
Passwords and Login information in many instances can be stolen or in some cases, easily found. Leaving this information in a non-secure place as well as simple passwords make life easy for those trying to get your information. Since many of you have no problem putting your Children’s name, age and birthdate on your Facebook page, it would be in your best interest to think of something a bit original for a password.
Emails are another way to illegally access your computer or get information from you. Gmail, Hotmail and other email providers do a pretty good job of filtering Spam. All you need to do is go into your Spam box and see all the emails that get picked out of your inbox. But sometimes there are those that sneak by and get into your inbox. If you are somewhat skeptical about a specific email, then just delete it. And for God’s sake do not reply any emails from a Nigerian who is a Prince and needs to access his millions and to do so needs a few hundred dollars from you.
Addiction has been a part of life since the beginning of time. Certainly not new to us, addiction in the age of the Internet has increased and has gone into new industries. People have always been addicted to video games, gambling and porn, but with the such easy access and variety, all 3 of these have gone ballistic.
Let’s focus on one of these which is online gambling. Years ago, if you wanted to gamble, there were only few options. You could set up a local poker game, head to a casino which were few and far between or enjoy your local bingo night. In the age of the Internet gambling can be a private affair as well as available 24/7 with thousands of options. If you’re looking to spend time in your basement and tune out, this is a great way to do so.
Online gambling is a great way to spend your time and money, and if you play in moderation it can be fun and exciting. Just as with lad-based casinos, the odds are the in favor of the house and card counting is impossible online. Never spend more than you can afford and if you feel that you do have a gambling problem, then it is important that you seek help before all is lost. Sometimes you’re better off playing for free and just enjoying the bright lights and graphics.
The Internet has opened Pandora’s box by providing news, entertainment, media, history and everything that you could possibly need at the flip of a switch. You can learn or you can rot your brain. Whatever you decide to do please make sure that you use common sense and understand that there are individuals who are looking to steal everything you have and ruin your life.