Safer Internet Day is an annual event aimed at raising awareness of the dangers online and how we can be safe whilst browsing the internet.
We have compiled a list of tips to help you stay safer online.
Top 10 Tips to Stay Safer Online
- Try not to use public Wi-Fi hotspots for sensitive information such as accessing online banking, shopping or signing in to personal accounts. Some hotspots exist entirely to steal your personal data and many people do not know to check that the hotspots are safe.
- Watch your Wi-Fi connectivity to see if there is any suspicious activity. Protect your network by changing your router’s default settings and making sure you have the connection password-protected.
- Beware of ‘phishing scams’. Most legitimate companies would never send you an email requesting personal information. DO NOT OPEN any email like this.
- Ensure you monitor children and teenager’s use of the internet. Check what sites they access as well as their social media. It may seem like an invasion of their privacy, but with so much data shared online children can easily fall prey to scams, phishing and bullying and become victims of grooming.
- Change your passwords on a regular basis. Try to have different passwords for different accounts. Passwords should be made up of letters (upper and lower case), numbers and symbols. These should not be personal details such as name, date of birth, address etc. Phrases are recommended.
- Do not give out any personal information on social media – full name, date of birth, address, mobile number, email address. Use the privacy and security settings on social media sites so that only friends and family can see your pages. Criminals often find out small bits of information about you, sometimes buying small pieces on the dark web, and fit them together like a jigsaw. Speak to friends and family and encourage them to tighten their privacy settings too as they could affect you.
- Do not accept friend requests from people you don’t know. Hackers troll these sites under fake accounts in order to exploit a large variety of different attack vectors.
- Think about what you are sharing on social media. Whenever you’re about to post something online, pause and just imagine someone in authority, someone you respect, reading that post or looking at that photo. If that feels uncomfortable, don’t do it. Of course, it’s your social media, and you are free to post what you like but just remember don’t post things you wouldn’t want anybody to see.
- If you’ve stopped using a social media site, then close your account down. There’s no point in leaving personal information out there unnecessarily. Criminals can find this and add another piece to their jigsaw of you.
- Back up all your data on your computer, smartphone and tablet in the event of loss or theft.