Be Safe on the Internet

You can also see:  http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/

 OnLine Cautions:

There is no cause to be put off being OnLine and using the Internet. Simply learn and apply appropriate precautions.  Just like learning to cross the road safely. 

General Rule: All scams are either attractive or intimidating, but succeed only if you act upon them.  If in doubt, don’t do anything.   See below.

General Security: Unless you are quite expert and very very careful and make limited use of the Internet, you absolutely must have Internet Security software on your home computer, not just anti-virus. Security software also protects you from malicious intrusions such as Spyware (which does what is says on the tin) and Hacking. 

Malware can be acquired quite easily these days and will either destroy your computer or spy on your computer use, or both.  Keylogging malware will record your keystrokes and send them to a remote host (e.g. your passwords).

A trusted public site such as a Library or Community Centre should provide enough protection for email and downloads.  However Internet Cafe’s, even at a Community Centre, have been known to be affected.

Change your passwords regularly and don’t make them to easy. A strong password will contain symbols e.g.  : / > etc and numbers.

Browser Security: Make sure that your Search Engine (e.g. Google, Bing etc) has not been hi-jacked. When at the opening page, make sure that the address bar (at the very top of your screen)  shows the authentic address  (e.g.   http://www.google.co.uk/  or http://www.bing.com/ etc).  The same advice applies to all websites that you visit.

A secure site (e.g. for financial transactions) will cause the address bar to show a picture of a padlock and the address will begin with https:// instead of http://.

False Links: Even a link like this www.google.co.uk/ may be false.  To check where it will really takes you, right mouse button click-on the link and select “properties” at the bottom of the pop up menu. The link above actually goes to Bing not Google, but it could go anywhere.

Secure Transfers: If you transfer anything from another PC  by CD, Flash Drive (memory stick/dongle) or any other device, then have your Security Software scan it as soon as have connected it to your PC to ensure that no malware has been transferred.

Personal Information: Never keep personal information on your computer such as bank account details, passwords or PIN numbers.

Financial Transactions: It is not advisable to make any financial transactions using a public site.  Even at a trusted site your passwords or financial details may be viewed by those nearby.

Debit/Credit Cards: Do not give your Credit/Debit Card details to anything other than a secure site.  A secure site will cause the address bar to show a picture of a padlock and the address will begin with https:// instead of http://.  See *Paypal below.

Emails 1: When using email, be aware of “Phishing Scams”.  These are emails that will con you into giving away money or banking details.  Your bank will never ask you for information either by email or phone.  You will help everyone if you mark it as a Phishing Scam.  For example,  if using Hotmail, you will see “Mark As” as part of the top menu line.

Emails 2: Be careful in responding to emails that come from people you don’t know. It is possible to send emails without the sender knowing your Email address, until you reply.

Surprises:  Such as “You have one a prize” or “You are our are millionth customer”.  Don’t do anything, the site owner may not be responsible for this.  Complete your use of the site then go elsewhere or X it the browser. 

Scary:  Such as “Your computer has viruses, download this cleaner immediately”.  This can be very convincing and appear to show one of your own screens (e.g. Windows Explorer or My Computer) with moving red scan lines.  This is a clever hoax that would result in downloading a virus.  Do not do anything other than X  it (top right corner) of  your browser.

Intimidating:  You might receive an email stating that you must fill in a form for your bank otherwise your banking facility will stop.  It is a hoax intended to make use of your bank account.   Don’t do anything other than “Mark As”  a “Phishing Scam”.

*PayPal: One way of buying On Line is using PayPal.  The facility acts like a buffer between the other party and your bank account.  You can register your bank account and/or you debit/credit card. After that you can pay for most On Line purchases via your PayPal account. The service is widely used.  There will be a “How To” article later.

More will be added later.

You should also see http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Safe-on-the-Internet for further advice and especially for Facebook users and cyber-bullying.

We mean well, but must include the following:-

Disclaimer:  The reader is made aware of the above cautions but must use his/her own judgment in deciding how to proceed.  These cautions do not constitute a complete list and are written here only as an indicator.  Neither the writer or the site owners or any contributor accept any responsiblity for the readers actions or lack of actions. 

If anyone knows of further cautions, then please leave a comment below.  It will be gratefully received and useful to others.  Note: The same disclaimer applies to all contributors.

Posted by GrahamAtLinc – Most Recent Update on 29/05/2011

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