Ghana Internet Safety Foundation advocates safer internet practices in 2023

Ghanaians have been advised to use credit cards to buy goods online as it was safer than using debit cards.

Mr Emmanuel Adinkrah, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ghana Internet Safety Foundation, who gave the advice in a new year’s message in which he gave some useful tips for staying safe online and avoiding hackers among other cybercrimes to consumers, said “any fraudulent transaction made using your debit card sees money withdrawn from your bank account. Most credit cards come with fraud protection”.

“If you’re shopping online, you can protect yourself further by only shopping on sites with HTTPS as a URL prefix and a padlock icon to the left or the right

 of the URL. This ‘S’ in HTTPS stands for ‘Secure’. This signifies communications between your browser and the website concerned are encrypted,” he said.

He said there was the need for consumers to update their operat­ing system, adding that “make sure your machine is running the latest version of your operating system and instal system updates immedi­ately. Updating your operating sys­tem ensures your machine has the latest software to protect itself”.

On updating anti-virus software, Mr Adinkrah said “an out-of-date virus checker is only marginally better than none at all. Hundreds of thousands of new variants of malicious software appear each year in addition to new strains, so the set of malware your virus checker knew about when you first installed it can get out of date very quickly”.

“Use complex passwords for each account, a recent article by NordPass reported that ‘password’ and variations of ‘123456789’ still ranked among the most commonly used. Using capital letters, low­er-case letters, numbers, and special characters, such as an asterisk or a question mark, make passwords much harder for hackers to crack,” he said.

He also urged consumers to avoid putting their Personally Identifiable Information (PII) on social media.

He said, “PII is a personal­ly identifiable information and hackers use this to help them crack passwords and work their way into your confidence for scams, consid­er setting your social media profiles so that only friends can see what you put online”.

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