All the while making our lives easier in lots of ways, new technologies can be misused as well for monitoring, hacking and controlling others as part of stalking. A growing number of stalking victims contacts Danish Stalking Centre for counselling and guidance on how to deal with digital stalking. For many victims of stalking, digital stalking is just one method in the broader course of stalking, which can entail physical monitoring, continuous attempts of contact, criminal damage, threats, etc. as well. However, there are also those only stalked digitally. Therefore, it is a good idea to look into your own personal IT security. You can do a lot to ensure your online security, but it often seems to the individual to figure out. For this very reason, Danish Stalking Centre has produced different guides that can help increase security on your phone and computer, respectively.
Good advice on IT security
- Keep your computer updated, especially third-part software such as Java JRE, Adobe Reader, Flash, QuickTime, etc. It is often these programs of which the IT-criminals take advantage.
- Often use other malware scanners than your regular anti-virus product. Many of the viruses hitting Denmark ensure that the traditional anti-virus software will not catch them. The banks provide us with dedicated virus scanners that check for the malware hitting Denmark right now.
- Make sure that the security settings on your browser are set as high as possible. For example, you can set your browser to confirm when a website tries to run a Java applet on your computer. You can also install software like ”NoScript”, which requires your authorisation for a script to run in your browser.
- When you set up your Wi-Fi (wireless internet connection), it is important to use a strong password that others cannot guess. If you are not sure how to set up a new or change your current password, you can contact your internet provider. You can also ask them about other possible safe practices.
- If you are worried that someone is hacking your Wi-Fi, you can turn it off and use a direct internet cable. If you do not know how to do this, contact your internet provider.
- Be careful using publicly available internet such as a café’s Wi-Fi. Many places, they do not use passwords, and this can make the accessibility on your computer, phone or tablet vulnerable.
- Only put in personal data on websites starting with https (the ‘s’ stands for security). This means that your data will be encrypted, so it will not be accessible to everyone.
- Look at the name of the website in the address bar to make sure you are on the right website (to avoid phishing attacks).
- Remember to log out of websites and especially your email, NemID and Facebook account.
- Be careful downloading programs you do not know. If you are not sure, then try to google the program and see what others have written about it.
- Avoid clicking on links in emails or advertisements on websites that seem suspicious.
- If you end up on a website, which requires you to input personal information such as your credit card number, National Insurance number or civil registration number (CPR), etc., make sure to think twice before taking any further action.
- Use your common sense!
Good advice on passwords
- Use long sentences that are easy to remember, but difficult to hack, e.g. iwanttoentermycomputer (22 characters).
- When you use numbers in your password, it is a good idea to put them in the beginning, e.g. 4590iwanttoentermycomputer.
- In general, do not reuse passwords.