Thinking back, I must have been on some sort of “diet” – air quotes because I dislike the word, but anyway – for almost 10 years. I gained lots of weight when I met my (now) husband; you know, when you get settled into a comfortable relationship and therefore life, and the weight just creeps on. And before you know it, boom, you have gained 3 dress sizes in less than a year! I only really noticed this when I went away to University, and obviously with lots of boozy nights and takeaways happening, it just crept on, and on, and on, and before I knew it, I was another dress size heavier.
I had finished Uni, it was coming up to my summer wedding and that’s when I started searching for the latest quick fix diet and tips. (Before the summer is the time when 44% of women in a study conducted by Intel Security would click on a dieting promotional link). Now, I’m not that old ( 😉 ) so the Internet was well established then and I could find all of my information online. At the time I was quite naive about dieting and in all honesty I would have tried pretty much anything to get a quick weight loss. Of course, when you are searching for dieting information, you are then targeted with random promotional clickable ads to diet pills, wraps, etcetera, no matter what site you visit.
Back then, out of desperation, I would have clicked on these links but due to my vast “diet” knowledge nowadays, I can immediately tell the real from the fake and will avoid like the plague. Unfortunately, some of the sites seem so legitimate that some people are not able to establish if a site is genuine (30% in the Intel Security study). By using a security tool such as McAfee WebAdvisor, you are able to be alerted to any security threats if it detects that a site is not genuine, and it could protect your computer from a virus or malware, or from giving your personal information to cyber criminals.
If you are going to be searching online for diet tips this summer, here are some more top tips for staying safe:
- promotion for sites that sound too good to be true, for example “Lose 10lb in a week!”, should be approached with caution as websites or emails could contain phishing links, leaving it open for your information to be stolen.
- beware of sites that contain an address or name similar to legitimate one, for example “Wait Watchers” instead of “Weight Watchers”. These sites usually have misspellings, poor grammar, or low-res images.
- sites that use cartoons for their promotion instead of a real individual are most probably fake, and are just using this to lure you in.
- if a site asks for personal information, always double check the URL to make sure it is the site you intended to visit and not an impostor.
- use strong passwords and don’t use the same ones across all of your sites. For example, instead of a string of numbers, use a length of random numbers, letters, and punctuation that is difficult to guess.
Do you use the Internet to search for diet tips or programs?
Have you ever clicked on a dieting promotional link that has turned out to be fake?