We have some helpful tips about staying safe online. This idea was suggested by customers on our Neighbourhood Services Improvement Group who wanted to raise awareness about potential problems in using the internet.
Millions of people go online every day to do anything from booking a holiday to keeping in touch with family and friends. However, there are some things you need to look out for, to ensure information about you remains safe and secure.
Computer viruses (sometimes called malware) can spread from computer to computer. You may be sent an attachment which when you click on it will release a virus. Criminals can then use this to scan your computer for personal information. You may even get a call from someone claiming to be from a well-known company, saying there is a problem with your computer and they need to get access to it. This is a common scam.
Scammers can send bogus emails in the hope that people will enter their personal details. They may trick people into thinking they have won a prize and need you to give them your details.
Scammers can create fake websites which look official (such as a bank or credit company) - requesting you to give personal or financial information. Often they look very similar.
Tips for staying safe online
Always question why you are being asked for personal information, why it is needed and what it will be used for. If in doubt, don't provide it.
If you are uncertain about an organisation, look for more information about them. Keep your computer anti-virus software up to date and install software updates. These will look for and remove viruses before they can infect your computer. Keep your computer updated - you should receive a notification when new updates are available.
Don't use public Wi-Fi to transfer sensitive information. At home, if you have a wireless router check the network is secure so that people living nearby can't access it.
On social network sites, guard against people trying to steal your information. Use the privacy features on the site to choose who can see your profile and your posts.
When shopping and banking online make sure you are using a secure website before entering any personal details. Be cautious when entering credit card details or personal information. There are ways to spot if a website is secure, including:
- The website address starts with https - the s stands for secure
- A padlock symbol in the browser where the website address is
- A current security certificate which is registered to the correct address (this appears when you click on the padlock)
For more information about staying safe online visit: