The Internet is mainly used in two ways:
Using and interacting with websites like Google, Facebook, the BBC and your bank.
Email and Instant Messaging
Sending messages and files to friends and family.
Unfortunately some people have spoilt the Internet and have made the Internet an unsafe place to be if you're not careful. RWP Training Limited have made this page to give advice to help you stay safe while using the Internet:
Lots of websites now let you share online what you do in your everyday life, like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Bebo and YouTube to name a few. Most of these services let you add photos, videos and the like which can give people a big insight to your life.
Be Careful who you share with!
Do you really know who you are sharing your online presence with? Have you made sure that you have only shared with your friends and family and not the whole world?
There's a lot of useful information on the Internet and finding it would be impossible without search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing). There's also a lot of harmful and inappropriate information on the Internet, so here's how to not stumble across something you don't want.
- Be careful what you ask for - think what you could get from what you asked for - searching for "free images" can provide all kind of results including pornography.
- Always use search filtering - like Yahoo's or Google's SafeSearch which remove results that are inappropriate - be aware however they're not perfect.
Being able to access your bank online is a great way to manage your money, but if you can access your bank then others can (if they know your details)
Do not make passwords easy to guess - see below for more information
If you're using a computer in a public place who's looking over your shoulder? If you're using a public or shared computer make sure you trust the owner of the computer (so he/she is not logging your password) and only ever connect to websites securely (look for that closed padlock).
- Avoid re-using the same password across various websites - if someone knows your password they could access all of your websites.
- Do not use "easy" passwords - simple words, phrases or personal information can be easily guessed, so don't use passwords like "password", "1234poiu" or "letmein" - make sure your password has a mix of uppercase and lowercase characters, numbers and punctuation.
- Never write down your password in an unsecured place - if you have to write them down make sure they are kept very securely so no one can easily steal them.
- Forgotten passwords - make sure you keep your password recovery details up-to-date, so if you do need to reset your password you can be contacted easily.
E-mail and Instant Messaging
Phishing is when you receive an e-mail claiming to be from your bank, PayPal, eBay or similar and you are asked to go to the website and sign in. But the e-mail is not from your bank but someone else trying to steal your password and to do so they have made a fake website that looks like your bank's website (or wherever). Here's some steps to avoid being conned (phished):
- Your bank will not ask you to sign in - they may offer you a special offer, or tell you about new products, but they will not ask you to sign in.
- Never use the link in the e-mail - the phishers make the link look legitimate but it goes to their fake site: always manually type the link in to make sure you're going to the real website.
ChattingWhether you're using a forum, chatroom or instant messaging (MSN, AIM, Jabber, Google Talk, Windows Messenger) make sure you know who you're talking to:
- Never agree to meet someone you met online - you have no idea who they really are.
- Never give out any personal details - you have no idea who you're talking to.
- Avoid using your real name - so you can protect your real identity.
You can get viruses by opening infected e-mail attachments - here's how to know which ones to open:
- Never open an attachment from someone you don't know - you have no idea what it contains.
- Never open an attachment from someone you know but weren't expecting - viruses can pretend to be someone you know and send e-mails from them.
- Always make sure your Anti-Virus is up-to-date - check frequently that your anti-virus updates and do not rely on it updating automatically.
Other Sources of Help