8 safety tips for using the internet

Eight safety tips for using the internet

Here is some advice about how to use the internet safely.

1. Pause before posting
Whenever you’re about to post something online, pause and just imagine someone you respect, reading that post or looking at that photo. If that feels uncomfortable, don’t post it.

2. Consider a nickname
Consider using a nickname (or "screen name") instead of your real name if you’re signing up to a site like Twitter. Try to avoid using person details in your "screen name" such as your date of birth. Think about setting up a separate, personal email account to use with social media sites, rather than using your work, or even your main personal email.

3. Mother’s maiden name
Don’t use your mother’s real maiden name as a password or as a bank security answer.  It doesn’t really matter whether you use the real one so make up a name that only you know and is memorable.  Just ensure you remember it.

4. Guard personal information

Don’t post any personal information – such as your address, email address or mobile number – publicly online. Just one piece of personal information could be used by a complete stranger to find out even more. If you want to include your birthday in your profile it’s safer not to actually display it publicly. Providing your full date of birth makes you more vulnerable to identity fraud.

5. Photos and videos

Be careful about which photos and videos you share on social media sites. Remember, once you’ve put a picture of yourself online, other people may be able to see it and download it – it may not just be yours anymore.

6. Direct message if you want a personal chat
It’s almost always possible to send a direct message or private message on social media platforms. If you want to have a personal chat, this is the best option to go for. Alternatively, send an email from a private account.

7. Delete old accounts
If you’ve stopped using a social media site or forum, then close that account down. There’s no point in leaving personal information out there unnecessarily.

8. Install anti-virus software
Ensure you have anti-virus software installed on your computer and be careful what you install or download on your computer.

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