Staying safe online

using a laptop

As the world continues to stay home to stay safe, more and more of us are going online. Unfortunately, cyber-attacks are on the rise, with data breaches and email scams becoming more commonplace. Whether you’re chatting, shopping or getting organised, follow these tips to stay safe.

Dos

  • Do have a varied list of passwords that are stored securely, for example with password management software.
  • Do make use of ‘back ups’, such as fingerprint scans on devices or security questions.
  • Do review your privacy settings on social media.

Don’ts

  • Don’t open emails if you’re not 100 per cent sure.
  • Don’t share details of where you live.
  • Don’t give your password or identifiable information like bank card PIN numbers to anybody.

With all of these threats, the internet can appear to be a scary place. However, by following a few precautions, there’s no reason why you can’t interact, shop and organise your life without security concerns.

Passwords

You should change these every three months, like a toothbrush. Try to avoid identifiable features like pet names or dates of birth, and don’t write them down.

Social media

Check your privacy settings to make sure only your friends can see your content. To be safe, turn off location services, and make use of features like Private Mode on LinkedIn. Always block and report anybody who makes you feel uncomfortable.

Banking

Banks will only ever communicate with you using your individual account number. They will never ask you to log in. To make sure a site you’re transacting on is safe, look out for https in the address bar and the padlock symbol.

Emails

Don’t ever open links or files if you’re not sure where they’ve come from. Red flags include poor spelling, non-personal greetings and strange domain names e.g. @anazon.ru, or gmail addresses.

Smart speakers

Some smart speakers may record commands for marketing purposes. You can delete these, and you can also ‘train’ your speaker to only respond to your voice. To stay safe, deactivate personalised features like your calendar.

For more information about keeping your personal data secure, click here.

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