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Urbandale Unplugged

Urbandale Unplugged

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Top 5 Ways to Stay Safe Online


Jacob Sickles

February 16th


In today’s online world, there are many dangers that you are able to protect yourself from. Some of those dangers are hackers, cyberbullies and scammers. Hackers will try to get your information to hack and steal your information. Cyberbullies are people who bully someone online. Lastly, scammers are people who will try to scam you into giving them your money.


  1. Watch who you accept from friend requests

Deciding if you want to accept a friend request can be hard. It can be hard because you have no idea who is controlling that account. Yes, it could be a family member or even your best friend, but it can also be a bot account. Both accounts can be dangerous because the person who has the account might be a scammer, who might just try to scam you into giving up money or important information. Or it could be a hacker. Hackers are also pretty dangerous because if you give them enough information about yourself, then they might be able to hack into some or your stuff and they can change your passwords so then you can’t get back into your account.


  1. Be careful of what you post.

When posting a picture or a video on a social media platform maybe take it into consideration when posting it. Because when you post a picture or a video, it can possibly reveal personal information, like your address and your location. Allstate Identity Protection says, “You should wait a couple hours or even days when posting a picture or video.”


  1. Clicking Links
    When finding a link or being sent one, you should be a little cautious. When finding a random link, it can possibly send you to somewhere you don’t want to be. For example, it can lead you to an inappropriate site, or a site that can steal your information. Yes there are links that can send you to the site that you want to go to but you never know. According to Allstate Identity Protection, you should hover over the link to see what the site page looks like, and then you can decide if you want to go to that site.


  1. Passwords

When creating a new account on something, it will usually ask you for what you want as a username and your password. Most people will use their email address as their username, but then use their generic password. Here is a pros and cons list to having your email as your username and using your generic combination as your password.


  • Using your email as your username can be a pro because it is something easy to remember. 
  • Using your generic password as your password can be a pro because it it easy to remember.


  • Using you email as your username can be dangerous because since your email gets passed around from sending and receiving emails, you could reveal personal information. 
  • Using a generic password can be dangerous because it is probably not the safest password and depending on how complicated it is, and depending on how many accounts you use the password for, it could be easier or harder for people to hack into.
  1. Secure websites

When you click on a link or onto a website how secure it is and is your information in danger. Well there’s one easy way to tell if the website is secure. All you have to do is look up at the url and if it says “https” is secure. The s stands for secure.

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About the Contributor
Jacob Sickles
Jacob Sickles, Staff Writer
Jacob Sickles is a Freshman at Urbandale High School. During Sickles' free time, he likes to play ice and roller hockey and hang out with friends. If Sickles is not doing those things, you can find him drawing, playing with his dog, or running around his neighborhood.
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