Protecting Your Online Privacy, Safety and Security

This page gives good advice generally applicable to all online activities and sites, whether on Dave Café or elsewhere. Much of it can well be applicable to your interactions when using Dave Café services.

One important way to protect yourself and other people online is to follow the Dave Café Code of conduct.

Below are direct links to the different subjects covered in this page:

Internet access and account access

  • Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) such as NordVPN on your devices, to protect yourself from snooping, cracking, advertisers and trackers.
  • When using public WiFi connections, always prefer connecting via a VPN if possible.
  • Don’t use public computers (in coffee shops, hotels, etc.) to access banking and financial services, or to make credit card payments and other monetary transactions.
    They can have been loaded with spyware and key loggers.
  • If you really have no option but to use a public computer to log into a security-protected account (email or whatever), use an ‘incognito‘ or ‘private‘ window, click any checkbox saying ‘Public or shared computer‘, and unclick any checked box that says ‘Stay signed in‘ or ‘Remember me‘.
    Clear the Web browser’s cache (in the Settings) after you’re finished, so that fewer traces of your surfing session remain.
  • If you have to use a public computer, try to set-up one-time passwords (OTPs) for accessing your accounts beforehand, and use those rather than your principal account password.
  • Use strong, unique passwords and update them regularly.
  • Passwords should be at least 12 characters in length and composed of a mixture of lowercase, uppercase, digits and special characters.
  • Never use the same password for different accounts or tools.
  • Use a password manager such as NordPass or KeePass to store and manage your passwords. They only require you to remember one master password to get access to all your account passwords, and often can enter your credentials in a login page without needing you to do so.
  • One easy way to remember a good and secure password: take a two or three lines of a song, poem or book you know well.
    Create your password by using the first letter of each word.
    Choose uppercase letters to emphasize certain words.
    Include digits to replace words like ‘to’, ‘for’ and ‘too’.
    Include special characters like commas, periods, exclamation marks, question marks, etc.
    Be creative and inventive.
    When you need to enter the password, you can recite your quotation back to yourself in your mind, to help you remember it correctly.
    Try not to use any letter, digit or character more than once, if possible.
    Make sure your password is at least 12 characters long. Even longer is all the better.
  • Consider using privacy-protective browser extensions such as Privacy Badger and DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials. They protect you from advertisers and trackers, and can be deactivated easily for individual trusted sites.
  • Make sure your devices are well-secured: With all devices – phones, computers, tablets, smart watches, smart TVs, etc. – it’s wise to use passwords or passcodes and other security such as biometrics, to protect yourself from a cyberattack or your personal data being stolen.
  • Ensure that your devices have all the latest security updates installed, to reduce the risk of potential security breaches.

Online communication, messaging and safe video/audio chats

  • Please read and respect the Code of conduct.
  • Always use a secure Internet connection for audio/video calls.
    Avoid using public WiFi for confidential conversations.
    Use a VPN if possible.
  • When using websites and tools, regularly review your privacy settings and make sure you understand and still want to accept the privacy policies.
  • Call recording: call recording is disabled by default in calls and meetings made via Dave Café.
    But you should bear in mind that someone may have screen recording software installed on their device, and may be able to record your conversation regardless of recording being disabled or not activated on Dave Café, so conduct yourself wisely.
  • Be careful when sharing your screen or desktop. Make sure no sensitive information is visible in a window or document.
  • Make a habit of muting your microphone when you’re not talking, and try to use a headset or microphone with noise reduction, to remove any background noise or conversations in the room you’re in.
  • If you receive a meeting invite, keep it confidential to ensure that no unwanted visitors use it.
  • If you host a meeting, generate a unique and secure link that will protect the event’s privacy. Avoid using easily guessable or predictable links.
    If you’re hosting an event and have specially requested previously that call recording be activated, always inform your participants before starting recording, to get their prior permission and to give them time to deactivate their webcam and microphone if they want.
  • If you moderate a meeting, use the available features of the software for managing participant access and keeping the event safe and secure.
  • If you’re hosting a meeting, use virtual waiting rooms or ‘break-out‘ rooms to verify newly-arrived participants before letting them join the event.
  • When you’re in a call, you can use a virtual background to protect your privacy and conceal the background of the room you’re in.
  • Consider password-protecting your conferences: set a password to enter a meeting or, if you don’t want to do that, set a password and ‘lock the door‘ once all your attendees are present.
  • Before you join a meeting, make sure that no sensitive or private information is visible or audible in the background of the room you’re in.
  • Join meetings from trusted devices only. Don’t take part in confidential meetings using a public computer or shared device. It can have been loaded with spyware and a key logger.
  • Post-meeting privacy: at the end of a meeting, close any meeting-related documents to prevent any unauthorized access, and then cleanly terminate the event and log out properly to ensure that nobody can rejoin after you leave.

Safe online relationships and behavior

  • Please read and respect the Code of conduct.
  • Be careful what you say and where you say it: any comment, message or image you post online or send by email or messaging may stay online indefinitely, because removing the original won’t remove things received in a mailbox or re-posted elsewhere.
    There’s too often no way to take back something you regret.
    Don’t post stuff online that you wouldn’t want a current or prospective employer to see.
  • Be careful about disclosing personal information about yourself or about someone else.
  • Don’t share sensitive personal and financial information in public media such as a bio or post.
  • Don’t share sensitive personal and financial information with persons who are unverified and who you don’t have reasonable grounds to trust.
  • Be very cautious about wonderful new relationships with online contacts. Take things slowly.
    Consider confiding in a trusted family member, friend or colleague and getting a separate opinion. If it seems too good to be true, it often is.
  • Be careful about who you meet online. People you meet online are not always who they claim to be. They might not even be real. Fake profiles are a very common tool for grooming unwary people.
    Bad actors are often charming, friendly and persuasive, and claim to like you as someone particularly special. Be cautious, and don’t be manipulated by flattery.
  • Beware of people and websites pressurizing you to take an immediate decision about something – making a payment or providing sensitive information – without giving you time and opportunity to think it over beforehand.
    If you don’t immediately agree and they become more coercive and critical, it’s a bad sign.
    Consider talking to a trusted family member, friend or colleague first, and getting a separate opinion away from the urgency and pressure.
  • Be careful about agreeing to in-person meetings with new contacts.
    Make sure you tell someone beforehand about when and where you’re going, and when you expect to be back.
    Be very cautious about how you behave and the behavior you accept: things can go wrong in lots of unexpected ways.
  • Double-check information you receive online. Fake news, misinformation, disinformation and scams are commonplace.
    Also, different people can simply have different perceptions of the same thing.
    Do your own research to check the facts and draw your own conclusions.

If you have any concerns or questions about something during your use of Dave Café services, contact Dave.

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