Facebook Partners Cybersafe Foundation to provide online safety tips for parents.

Facebook, in collaboration with Cybersafe Foundation, a leading non-governmental organization in the information security ecosystem in Nigeria, recently hosted a parents roundtable event designed to gather insights on the kind of safety tips parents need; determine how they would like to receive these tips and equip them with digital skills needed to navigate the digital world.

The virtual event focused on teaching parents how to use and access some of the basic safety tools and features available on the Facebook platform to help keep children safe online.

According to Facebook, providing parents with these basic digital literacy skills while on their parenting journey is an important step in helping the next generation of leaders to better understand and utilise the power of digital tools to take full advantage of what the internet has to offer.

“Facebook is committed to the safety of users on our platforms and especially that of young users. We have developed partnerships, policies, tools, programmes and resources that are aimed at keeping our users safe online,” Sylvia Musalagani, Safety Policy Manager, Africa, Middle East and Turkey said while speaking at the event.” By teaching parents how to use and access some of the basic safety tools and features on our platform, we are taking necessary steps in ensuring that the next generation are equipped with the online safety training they need to have better online experiences in the future,” Musalagani added.

While speaking on the partnership with Facebook, Cybersafe Foundation, Confidence Staveley, said “This roundtable presented a perfect opportunity for parents to provide feedback directly to Facebook on its current child online safety resources and desired additions or improvements that they’d like to see. We are pleased that the main sessions and breakout rooms made for very conversations and parents in attendance shared their opinions freely”, Staveley added. 

In recent years, Facebook has trained thousands of people on digital literacy skills. In 2021, Facebook is preparing to train over 20,000 participants across Africa on safe, responsible and beneficial usage of the digital platforms.

Facebook is committed to the well-being of individuals and communities visiting its platforms and has invested in initiatives designed to build awareness on responsible online behaviour, critical thinking and understanding of social issues. 

VPN: A Few Important Things To Know

It’s hard to surf or use the internet without coming across a recommendation to use a VPN. Digital ads promise VPNs with capabilities ranging from keeping you completely anonymous to absolute protection as you surf the internet. How much of these claims are fluff or real? Well, let’s start with understanding what is a VPN.

What is a VPN?

A virtual private network is a digital tool for recreating the security of a physical private network. It’s impractical to have your device connected with a cable straight to the bank server. That’s why VPNs do it via your regular internet. 

When you have a VPN running on your device, all the data you sent out is encrypted. This process turns all the information you’re transmitting into a mess that no modern computer can crack. That means that nobody – hackers, spies, or internet service providers – intercepting it can read it. That data then travels to the VPN server, which decrypts it and forwards it to your original destination. When the service sends something back, it all works the opposite way around.  

As such, typical use cases of VPNs include hiding your IP address, bypassing government restrictions, accessing geo-restricted content, hiding internet traffics, and connecting to a home or business network while you’re away.

Free vs Paid VPNs

As with many other technological products, VPNs come in free and paid tiers, knowing the risk associated with each tier can help you make a decision about which to use.

Something to keep in mind about Free VPNs is that the producers have to make money somehow. In the best-case scenario, you’ll have a slow, data-capped connection that may annoy you with ads. At worst, the app will track users and have malware as part of its code – research shows that 38% of free VPN apps contain malware. Some free VPN can steal your data also – they can even steal your credit card info. 

In contrast, the major advantage of Paid VPNs is that it provides decent speed. Using a VPN anyway slows down your Internet connection to some extent, so your aim should be to use a good, paid VPN that provides decent speed. Paid VPN providers invest a large percentage of their profits on bandwidth and servers, so even when hundreds of people use the service at the same time, the speed doesn’t slow down. This is a benefit only available with paid VPNs.

It is also important to note that even top-tier paid VPNs can provide little help if you yourself compromise your data. Here are few tips to help you stay safe online while using a VPN:

Do not visit untrustworthy or fake websites – These can be masquerading as legitimate websites you want to visit, but only exist to steal your data once you enter it.Do not login to your banking application or crypto wallet – If you’re suddenly trying to log in from an unrecognized IP address – and especially if it is from a foreign country – your connection might be blocked as a measure to prevent fraud. And truth be told, fraudsters do regularly use VPNs to cover their tracks. So rather than trying to keep tabs on patterns of IP address usage by legitimate users, some organizations simply don’t allow VPN connections.Make sure you have a robust anti-malware and password manager – An anti-malware package will help keep you safe as you surf the net while a password manager will help secure your passwords.

These and similar online hygiene practices are necessary to overcome these passive measures of data theft. Our other resources found on our website www.nogofallmaga.org address staying safe online.

If you decide to go the free route, here are some great options:

MysteriumWindscribeFree VPNProton VPN (free version)Nord VPN (free version)1.1.1.1VPNTunnel BearOpenVPN

The above-listed VPNs also have paid versions which are great, and it is important to note that some other security tools have VPN embedded as a feature. E.g antivirus and password manager apps.

Other things to keep in mind

VPN protocols determine how the data is routed from your computer to the VPN server. Some protocols are faster and more secure, while others are slow and have vulnerabilities. Some of the different types of secure VPN protocols include OpenVPN, IPSec, Layer 2 Tunnel Protocol, and Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol.

If you’re concerned about privacy make sure you read the VPN provider’s privacy policy to know if they keep logs (record of user’s activities) and what type. A good privacy-focused VPN provider should have no traffic logs, no source IP logs, DNS leak protection, not share an IP address and accept payment via bitcoin.

Finally, as in most things, a paid solution trumps a free version.

Contributors:

Wale Osoba

Hassanat Kehinde Obanla

The post VPN: A Few Important Things To Know appeared first on #NoGoFallMaga.

How To Spot A Scam Website

Annually, millions of people around the world have become victims of scam websites as the influence of the internet reaches unassailable heights. During the global pandemic last year, Helpnetsecurity.com reported that Phishing and scam websites continued to increase and peaked in June with a total of 745,000 sites detected. That is, on average, there were more than 18,000 fraudulent sites created each day. Given this huge number, being able to spot a scam website can therefore go a long way in not becoming a victim of promoters of such malicious websites as you would not likely enter your card details or upload personal information that could be used against you.

 Tips On How To Spot A Scam Website.

Here are few tips on how to spot a fraudulent or scam website:

Beware of “too good to be true sites”

Websites with offers that are “too good to be true” e.g. offers like 70 % off are more often than not untrue. Fraudsters and scammers use juicy offers as click baits to entice people to click or register on these sites. Internet users see discounted fees or free products online and think “Great offer” or “Awoof”. One key thing to remember when you see free things online is there is always more than meets the eye. So do well to investigate to know how authentic this offer is.  You should take heed not to upload your personal details or card information on such sites.

Verify Website Security

The padlock sign close to where the website URL is in your browser shows whether a website is SSL(Secure Sockets Layer) secured or not. The SSL certificate issued to a website helps to establish trust between browsers and clients. To view this certificate, you can click on the padlock sign for desktop or check the page information when using a mobile device. This certificate would show information about the organization, the date the certificate was issued, and who issued this certificate. A website without this padlock sign close to a website URL should not be trusted.

This also means that the URL should start with HTTPS Sites with HTTP (without “s) might not necessarily be a scam, but you probably should start getting suspicious as information transmitted on such sites is not secured as they can be intercepted.

Also, URL Links that start with “bit.ly…..” are shortened URL links and should be expanded before visiting the link, that can be done with a site like “https://unshorten.it” to know where the site actually leads.

Look Closely At The Domain Name

Phishing websites often have a slight alteration to the genuine name of a website. This can be quite difficult to detect and could be easily overlooked. An example of this is www.facebook.co instead of www.facebook.com and www.jumia.co.ng instead of www.jumia.com.ng

You can also lookup the domain age on websites like www.whois.domaintools.com (The Whois Lookup Domain Tracker) or the GoDaddywhois tool. They will tell you how long the website has been active and other information about the domain and its owner. You can use this to distinguish between sites that came up yesterday and sites that have been running for 8 years. Generally, the older the site, the safe it is.

Secure and Known Payment Option

In a bid to carry out untraceable fraudulent activity, scammers would suggest using untraceable methods of payments such as cryptocurrency, Western Union, and Moneygram which are often difficult to trace in case of an investigation. When you see these methods of payment on a website, it is a pointer to a scam site. Ensure you use known and secured payment options like PayPal, Credit Cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, etc.)

Run a virus scan

Some sites are just trying to trick you into downloading and run programs that can harm or lock you out of your computers like Ransomware, Viruses, and Malware. So when you are suspicious, do well to run a virus scan on the website. Scanners like VirusTotal, ReScan, Astra Security, etc. are awesome tools to check websites for viruses.

Public Reviews

Check for external public reviews about that particular offer or website using search engines or sites dedicated to reviews (scamadviser, Trustpilot, etc) to know whether they are authentic or not. Do well to note that reviews found on public forums or social media of the said “suspicious website” MUST not be trusted as they can be uploaded there by the scammers.

Check The Website Content

A legitimate website would have content dating far back to the time it was launched. Also, check for the quality of their content and grammatical errors. Genuine websites put a lot of effort into the quality of their content to maintain the good name and brand of their company.

Verify Social Media and Trademark Links

Click on the social media logos to see if they have a legit social media presence. Also, you can click on a trademark logo to verify if they are a certified user with a legitimate seal.

Verify “About us” and “Contact us”  page information

The “About Us” page of fraudulent websites will often be devoid of information about the owners or those running the company. If there is a picture of an owner or member of the management team, do a reverse image search or search for them on LinkedIn to verify that the person whose picture is there is an actual individual.

Also, a “Contact Us” page without a physical address is a red flag. If an address is listed, make sure to copy and paste it in a search engine and, if there are other businesses located there (virtual address) or you can’t find it, you should proceed with caution.

Following all the steps above doesn’t totally guarantee that you will spot all fake websites you come in contact with. You will however to a significant extent reduce the chances of being a victim. Like the popular saying goes “Shine Your Eye”!

Contributors:

Oluwaseun Adio

Badmus Anuoluwapo

Agbaze Jeremiah

The post How To Spot A Scam Website appeared first on #NoGoFallMaga.