Smart Ways To Protect Yourself Online | Clozette


It's impossible to tear ourselves away from technology nowadays considering that both our personal and professional lives intersect with it in more ways than one. Just look at the recent outage of platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Between the 24 to 48 hours of these online spaces malfunctioning, it has caused global panic and frustration. Sure, it might seem petty and ridiculous to some for humanity to rely on such advancements, but with entire industries and even country systems relying on its functions, can we really be blamed?


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This isn't saying that technology is perfect and must be patronised entirely. We are all very much aware of the flaws and perils that come with it. Just the other day, news outlets reported that in South Korea, hundreds of motel guests were secretly filmed and live-streamed online for the pleasure of paying customers. There's also the incident of the Christchurch mosque shooting where the shooter was live-streaming the whole thing; Facebook needed to take down almost 1.1 million reuploads of the video hours after the attack. This and many more definitely make us question not just our safety but where our morality as mediated by technology is taking us in the long run. This, of course, is considering that we're not willing to give up on these advancements as it is, inevitably, the future. 


So this leaves us with the question: How do we protect ourselves online at a time when the need to use technology is second only to breathing? We've got just the guide for you. 


Take caution when using the internet outside your home


It's quite cliché to warn people about using public Wi-Fi, but for some reason, many still fall victim to getting their information stolen because of this. So what do you do when you really need to access the internet but using your data is impossible? There are a couple of tactics to go around this. First, use a Virtual Private Network, also known as a VPN, that allows you to browse the net under encrypted traffic and an untraceable server. There are many paid VPNs out there that offer reasonable plans, but if you're on a budget, iOS and Android phones also offer free VPN apps you can use that will get the job done (with some ads popping from time to time, but you get the idea).


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To complement this, make sure you also avoid typing in passwords and other important information in close proximity to a CCTV. Always cover your keyboard or keypad when possible and decrease the brightness of your monitor or screen to avoid giving someone an opportunity to have access to your accounts just by replaying footage. This might seem like cautiousness with a tinge of paranoia, but hey, better safe than sorry, right?

Thinking your passwords through is actually really, really, REALLY important


A capital letter, a number, a special character, a hieroglyph, and a holy sacrifice — we've all seen that meme about creating passwords. But as much as it is funny and relatable, it actually serves as a reminder of how much this mix of letters and numbers can affect — and topple — our entire identity. From social media accounts to bank records, passwords serve as the gate to keep our privacy intact. Therefore, keeping just one for everything may not be the smartest idea. It's like using one single key for your house, car, and pet bird's cage — efficient but not entirely safe. 


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If you don't trust your memory enough to create a lot of passwords, one trick can be using a set of them that you will use depending on the degree of an account's importance. Settle on a number, say five, and assign a password for each level. You can also use memories and events to create passwords. Just make sure you steer clear of your or your immediate family's birthdays or information that can be easily guessed based on your preferences. Stick to things that only you or a handful of people know or would care about remembering. Some helpful suggestions would be the date of your first kiss, a thing associated with your freshman year in college, and the make and plate of your very first car. Trust us, you don't have to be a cryptographer to come up with a great password as long as you keep these in mind. 


Don't put everything on your socials or your Cloud


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At an age where everything can be easily preserved digitally, it's no wonder why most of us love documenting every single thing on our socials. Or better yet, have them sync automatically to our Clouds. They say the internet is forever, and so why not take advantage of it, right? Still, with the internet being a pool of not just one but many other users, such information is susceptible to getting lost or even stolen in a single swoop. Heck, having it in one portal makes it even easier to gather, alter, or dispose of without anyone even noticing. So as much as we're all for social sharing and preserving memories online, make sure that you'll have a separate safekeeping method that's not an easy target like a one terabyte hard drive or a physical album if you're feeling old-school.  



Make sure your software and operating systems are updated


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Developers update operating systems and gadget software for a reason. And sure, it can mean camera updates or fast new upgrades in your browser. But the most important aspect of updating which makes sure your personal gadgets are one step towards safety would be bug fixes and security updates. This is so your device would have a fighting chance against a newly developed online virus or phishing bug. Think of it as having the strong and powerful armour against an incredibly cunning and ever-evolving enemy. 


Remember: Trust is not your ally — at least online


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Trust is one of the pillars of a strong and happy relationship. But we're telling you, save it for real life! When it comes to the online world, always leave room for doubt and caution. Make sure you have the means to verify information with your loved ones when it comes to urgent situations so you won't have to rely on online conversations that can be hacked. In addition to this, always make sure you change your password should you have shared it with someone or if you happened to use a public computer. Lastly, do not over-divulge your everyday affairs or any other crucial information on your social media platforms — whether your account is private or public — as you will never truly know who's lurking in the periphery of your activities. At the end of the day, treat the internet as a helping hand and not an extension of your identity. 



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It hasn’t been too long since their racist blunder, yet Gucci is under fire yet again for releasing a line of dirty-looking sneakers. Part of their Cruise 2019 collection which tries to feature old-school looks, their Screener sneakers, named after the defensive sports move, is a nod to the classic trainers in the '70s. For USD870 (around SGD1200), you can get not only the leather sneakers featuring the Web stripe and the vintage Gucci logo but also an “all-over distressed” effect. What a bargain, right? If that isn’t enough, they’re also selling variations with crystals and blings for around twice the price. Now that the clean white sneakers look is out according to Gucci, here are three easy yet not-so-quick steps to get their shabby sneakers look for less.

 


Gucci Screener Leather Sneakers, USD870 (SGD1200)



Buy sneakers of your choice



Gucci Ace Leather Sneakers, USD580 (SGD785)


If you already have a pair that you own, great. If not, and you’re a true blue Gucci supporter, you can instead get their Ace leather sneakers for USD580 (SGD785). It’s their other pair of sneakers with the closest design that also features the Web stripe. It’s not exactly the clean version of the Screeners, but it’s your best bet if you wanna save hundreds.


Work it, walk it




Yes, here’s where it gets kind of difficult. To get that old used-sneaker look, you actually have to use it. So just walk, walk, and walk. Go and freely explore the world. And now, you don’t even need to worry about dirtying your kicks anymore, because you want them to be so. You can now traverse crowded areas, run in the rain, and play on soil without bothering about your sterile shoes.

 


Do NOT ever wash your kicks




Unlike the previous step, this one’s easy (unless you’re a total neat freak). Who knew that fashioning that dirty look actually helps, because now there’s one less chore off your errand list. Carelessness is key, and remember to not ever clean your shoes to get that perfectly used effect. Sure, it might take a while to collect all that dirt, but would you really rather pay more for already "dirty" trainers that you still have to meticulously clean so as not to ruin their carefully treated look?

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Packing a pair of pants is a must for everyone going on a trip. The versatility and comfort that they bring would set you up for all sorts of adventures. Though they can be paired with basically anything, your trusty trousers can still make or break your look. Check out how the globetrotters from the Clozette Community make their pants fit and fab for their travels.

 

Sky-blue versatility


A woman in washed skinny jeans is standing in front of airport departure

(Photo from: JacelynPhang)



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