How to Stay Safe on the Internet

The internet is a great place to connect, create and share content including getting the grocery shopping done. However the internet can pose a threat to many people if it isn’t used safely.

With today (9th February 2016) being Safer InternetDay we want to provide you with advice on how to use the internet in the best way whilst being safe, the threats on the internet aren’t always clear but just by taking simple easy steps you’ll be able to keep your details and yourself safe.

The internet means that we can talk to people who we know but also who we don’t know and this is a dangerous situation, as the people on the other side of the screen may not be who they say they are. Take a look at how you can prevent this from happening to you and people that you know:

 

-Social Media allows users to post personal information about themselves online for others to see. However the more information you publish about yourself increases the chance of people using your information negatively. People could start to ‘Catfish’ people with your information and you may become a victim of fraud. To prevent this don’t allow people to see all of your information if you don’t know them or trust them. Ensure that you have your Privacy settings activated- all social media sites have this setting accessible on the profile. If you’re unsure where to find them follow these links for the most popular social media networks: Facebook, Twitter, Vine, YouTube, Instagram

 

-Especially on Facebook, anyone can decide to ‘Add’ you as their friend. This means that if you accept them, they will have access to all of your information. This is why it’s very important to only ever accept people that you know personally and have met. This way you ensure that the person you are talking to, and has access to your information, is the real person that they say they are.

 

-Free Wi-Fi is available in most establishments which means that you would have to sign up with an email and typically a password. However by accessing content on a public connection it increases the risk of your content being hacked. This is why you need to be extra careful when it comes to processing information that is high in importance such as banking details and passwords. Once people have access to this information you’re in danger of them being able to access everything that you do and your private information is no longer private. Take a look at PC Word’s post on how to stay safe on public Wi-Fi.

 

-Cyberbullying is a term that is mentioned frequently, however many people are unaware what is classed as it. Cyberbullying can include sending hurtful/ mean messages to people on social media by private messenger or even just by posting it publicly for everyone to see but still being aimed at someone. It’s not just restricted to social media, it also consists of bullying through email and even on forums where users are anonymous. If it’s reported to the site that you’re on, they will address the issue and go ahead with the appropriate actions. If the problems persist you can report the issue to the police. There’s no specific law for cyberbullying, however it can be considered illegal under several different acts such as the Computer Misuse Act (1990), because of this it does mean that the police can take action.

 

Reporting cyberbullying has become a lot easier to do, especially on social media. It will help you fight against it quicker and reduce the number of people who do cyber bully.

 

Take a look at Facebook’s page dedicated to fighting against cyberbullying.

When browsing on the internet be sure to monitor everything that you do and all the websites that you enter. There are many ways that people can be targeted so be wary of who you’re talking to, where you’re talking to them, the information that you submit online and where you access the internet from.

To find out more about Safer Internet Day visit http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/2016 and join in the conversation on Twitter.

To test your knowledge on internet safety take the quiz here.