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7 things you should never do online

We all have bad habits, like biting our nails or drinking straight from the milk carton. While it’s bad form, it won’t steal your life savings. It won’t target your children.

As a digital expert, I cringe when people confess their hazardous activities and unacceptable etiquette. It’s time to quit the bad behavior. Here are seven things you should never do online.

1. Be gullible to posts and videos

It doesn’t take much effort to create a convincing hoax. With the right phrasing and a dab of digital wizardry, you can convince millions of people that Brad Pitt committed suicide, or drilling a hole in your iPhone 7 will reveal a hidden headphone jack. (It won’t by the way, but here’s the video that has over 15 million views and fooled some into destroying an iPhone.)

A recent hoax alleges that Facebook's privacy policy has changed and all your pictures, posts and messages will now become public. People are upset and posting false status updates that they do not give Facebook permission to share their private content. This particular post, like many others, cites a news source along with mumbo jumbo legal statutes.

True, it’s hard to tell a hoax is a hoax, but if you hear something shocking, run a quick internet search before you believe it. You may save yourself a lot of embarrassment, and you’ll leave the pranksters less reason to fool people.

2. Skip setting up 2FA

Don't let the fancy name “two-factor authentication” throw you. It just means that to login to your account, you need two ways to prove you are who you say you are. It's like the bank or DMV asking for two forms of ID.

Most major services and companies, such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple, offer two-factor authentication. It’s essential to set up.

This way, no one can access your account if your password is compromised. Some sites ask for your cell number, so they can text supplemental access codes if a password reset is enacted. You can also get alerts every time your account is accessed from an unfamiliar browser or device.

I have the steps necessary to set up 2FA on my site. It takes just a few minutes so do it now while you’re thinking about it. Click here to protect yourself from hackers, scammers and snoops.

Next page: Password mistakes, what to share online and more
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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