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“Make sure you only download from appropriate online stores.”

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Students were reminded that “you must decide how to protect yourself and create better online experiences.”

CANORA – “We are here to help you use the Internet more effectively.”

With that, trained investigator Brandon Laur introduced the students of the Canora Composite School to the live broadcast from the White Hatter Broadcasting Studio on March 27th.

Laur clearly reminded students that his goal was to help them, but said, “You have to decide how you want to protect yourself and create better online experiences.” Cybercriminals in another country must not be arrested or even found.”

Students were asked to remember that they all need to prevent online challenges such as hacking, scams or other tricks from occurring.

Laur emphasized that the worst thing a person can do is to always use the same password for all of their online accounts. If someone is tricked into sharing their password online, “the hacker will quickly try to hack all of your other accounts using that password.”

Students were told that user error is probably the biggest contributor to hackers' success, including unsafe downloads or buggy software.

“Make sure you only download from appropriate online stores,” Laur said.

What makes a better app?

  • More popular apps are likely to be safer.
  • Make sure you have the ability to block, delete, and remove people.
  • Make sure the app allows you to privatize your account (you decide who can message you).
  • Make sure the app has a built-in reporting feature so you can report someone doing something that makes you uncomfortable.

Laur said one of his favorite things about the internet is that almost anything is possible, but unfortunately that could be good or bad.

Often websites are the best tools for hackers and fraudsters, including the domain, the website name, and subdomains “where hackers can hide virtually everything they are doing.” This includes trying to get someone to click on a subscription renewal notification for something they may not even have subscribed to yet.

Laur emphasized that you should never pay for something through a link they send you, but should always sign up directly on the site.

The online locations most at risk of being hacked tend to be the most popular because hackers like to go where they can find the most people.

Recovering from a hack

  • Change your password quickly. The longer you take it, the worse it is likely to get.
  • Even if it comes at a cost, install antivirus software.
  • Check if your email is secure.
  • If all else fails, completely reboot your computer. Go to “Settings” and clean everything.

Laur told students, “Email has to be your most important account.”

Even if you have different passwords for all your accounts, problems can still arise. If a person forgets a password, they can click “Forgot Password” and press a button to display a link. If a hacker is in that email account, all they need to do is reset the password to their own password. The hacker can then change the owner of the account and make it very difficult to get it back.

Why would someone hack you?

  • If you steal your ID to do something illegal, you will be held responsible if caught.
  • While you may have more money in 10 or 20 years, your old unsecured accounts could be hacked if you're not careful now.

Cyberbullying

Laur reminded students, “If you are a victim of bullies, there is a network of people who want to help you.”

Bullying can be thought of as intentionally making another person feel bad.

If someone is acting mean and rude, the first thing you should do is block, remove and delete them.

If they persist, perhaps on other electronic devices, it's probably best to record them.

“Take a photo of the computer screen and save it,” Laur said. “Report it, show it to someone who can help that person stop. It could be a family member, a teacher or, if something illegal is involved, the police.”

Laur used an example of an online situation that occurs far too often. A message could start with “I think you’re super cute.” How about you send me a nude photo. I promise I’ll keep it private.”

But usually it's all a lie. Scammers will say anything to gain your trust. Then the online conversation often changes, for example: “If you don't send $500 (or do what I want), I will let everyone know about the picture.”

Laur stressed that this was illegal and should be reported to the police. “They are experts at this and good at finding these people.”

Finally, Laur reminded students, “You need to create a positive online environment for yourself where you can choose who you interact with.”

Don’t rely on social media to give you your local news. Keep up with your news by bookmarking the Canora Courier homepage at this link.

Bookmark SASKTODAY.ca, the homepage of Saskatchewan, at this link.