Staying safe online and making the most of the internet
The internet can be a fantastic place. It can enable so much interaction and communication with people we may not get to see as regularly as we would like. We can find out so much information very quickly and is a world away from the days of having to rely on a trip to the library and a thumb through the Encyclopedia Britannica in days gone by! There is so much entertainment and many exciting things that can be done online, games to play, interesting places to read up on and much more.
The internet also has a dark side to it too. You need to careful about information you give out, who you accept as friends online and the kind of places you visit.
The internet has made it easier for bad people to take advantage of inexperienced people and there is a lot you can do to try and minimise the risk.
I have written some top tips about how to stay safe online
- Remember when you write something online you are publishing it for the world to see. If you don’t want people to see it, don’t post it online in an open space such as Facebook.
- By posting an update to a social media site, your future or even current employer may see it. Think about what you post and whether they’d be happy with what they see.
- Be careful who you accept as a friend or follower on a social media platform. If you don’t know them, then what information about you are you letting them see through your posts? You would be surprised.
- More than the intended people may get to see what you write. Keep your security settings set to the most appropriate level so that this doesn’t happen.
- Be careful about what you reveal online. For example, be careful if you are saying you are going away on holiday if you haven’t got anyone watching your house while you are away.
- Do not reveal identifiable information such as car registration number, passport number / passport photo, or bank details. It may sound obvious, but for some people, it may not be something you think about but identity theft has happened to some people from photos taken from social media.
- Remember to be courteous and thoughtful towards other internet users. You can get in a lot of trouble for ‘trolling’ people online (bullying , abusing, insulting etc…) when it may just be your opinion you think you are saying to someone.
- Keep out of the dodgy bits of the internet! Hackers, viruses and all sorts live in the less mainstream areas of the internet so be careful where you visit.