Keeping You and Your Family Safe Online

Using the Internet to chat to friends, make new friends, join groups, operate a bank account, pay your utility bills, purchase items etc… can be very convenient and great fun but it is important to know how to do it safely. Here are some key things to remember:

    * ensure that the URL of any site which asks for your personal details starts with https:// rather than the usual http:// The s indicates that the site is a secure site.

    * ensure that your passwords are made up of a combination of letters, numbers and even punctuation to make them resistant to ‘hackers’.

    * have up-to-date virus protection and firewalls on your computer. Anti-spyware and anti-malware software is useful too.

    * use genuine, up-to date software.

    * make sure all websites you visit are secure and reliable.

    * always log off a website and computer when you have finished when you have finished.

    * ensure that all personal information is password protected.

    * report any instance of cyber-bullying or harassment online to the appropriate site and/or the Police if relevant.

    * delete any email or text that you are unsure about. Better to be safe than sorry and genuine people will find another way to contact you.

Do Not
    * divulge your personal details i.e. your name, address, school or college, contact numbers, passwords.

    * divulge bank details. Banks and Building Societies will never ask you for your details by email. An email or website which requests this information is known as ‘phishing' and is designed to steal your identity.

    * open an attachment in an email unless you are absolutely sure what it is and that it has come from a reliable source (Sometimes viruses can be sent by hackers using an email address from someone familiar to you so make sure that attachments in all emails you receive are expected or identifiable.).

    * open any email which asks you for money, tells you that you have inherited money or won a competition or comes from a source which is not familiar to you. They are most likely to be fraudulent and often designed to solicit money from you.

    * click on pop up windows which invite you to enter competitions or tell you that you have won something. It is very unlikely!

    * download any files from sites or sources that you are not sure about. This is a common way for viruses to infect your computer.

    * use public computers for any activity which involves inputting personal data. If you must do so, ensure that you erase all history and log out of each site when you have finished.

    * Do not use same password for everything as this makes your data very insecure.