protect yourself online

7 Ways to Protect Yourself Online

With the rise of Islamophobia, hate crimes, Trump’s presidency, misused photos associated with extremists, activism and the potential for a Muslim registry, now is the time to keep yourself safe, both on the streets and online. Although Muslims as a whole are not responsible for any acts of extremism and actions that have caused prejudice toward Muslims, our communities must take caution during this heated time.

1. Privatize your accounts.

Be sure to keep all of your personal accounts on private, whether that be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. If you need to have social media accounts for business or promotional use, be sure to use a separate email address that is for business purposes only.

2. Remove any geotags or location services when sharing posts.

Don’t add your home address if it isn’t necessary, or use a P.O. Box instead. When creating statuses, make sure your location isn’t mentioned in the post. If there are places you regularly visit, do not post a Facebook check-in or include the location on photos.

Now is the time to keep yourself safe, both on the streets and online.

If you are taking pictures in private homes, schools, or workplaces, make sure to avoid house numbers, street signs, names, license numbers or anything that could help someone locate you or your family. The last thing you want is for anyone to track you based on a picture of your little brother’s first day of school.

3. Use alternative addresses and phone.

It’s very easy to use a fake address or phone number by simply switching them up. But don’t get someone else into any harm! Try to find unregistered telephone numbers, your P.O. box, or use a phone call app that provides you with a phone number if you are not comfortable giving out your personal information but are required to for any reason.

4. Delete old posts.

Regardless of how long ago the post was, if there are any statuses or photos that could potentially be used against you, delete them. The last thing you want is for someone to dig up old information about you and use it in the public eye. You can use Facebook memories, scroll down Instagram or google how to delete old posts on other social media platforms.

5. Learn encryption.

You can easily google how to encrypt messages, especially emails. This ensures that nothing gets tracked down, especially your outgoing messages.

6. Get two-factor authentication.

You don’t want your emails and personal accounts to be breached. You should get two-factor authentication, which is an authentication mechanism to double check that your identity is legitimate. You can learn more about it here.

7. When sharing information, check the sources!

Make sure you don’t share any information that isn’t coming from a reliable source, including legal help, information on how many protesters were at a demonstration, scholarship opportunities for undocumented immigrants, and more. These could be used to track down your information and be used for malicious purposes. Always verify before sharing!