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Top Ten tips for staying safe online – online safety

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Online safety

Top 10 Tips For
Staying Safe Online

The internet can be safe and secure if used correctly – but there is a
potential risk of picking up a ‘computer virus’ that can make your
computer ‘sluggish’, damage your computer, or even steal personal
information if you don’t follow these basic 10 guidelines.

1) Make
sure anti-virus software is installed
. Use anti-virus software
(which is usually installed on all new computers). Try to run a scan
once every couple of days on your own personal computer at home to check
for any problems. You won’t need to do this on a public computer (for
example, in a library).

2) Update
. Your anti-virus software will send you “pop-ups” that
allow you to update your software and keep it as secure as possible.
Ensure that these are from the same anti-virus software that is used on
your computer.

Visiting websites
. Stick to well-known and established websites
(BBC, Amazon, government websites). Your virus software should warn
about dangerous websites. For example, McAfee has a green tick next to
safety-checked websites in Google.

Passwords for emails
. Passwords should be difficult to guess. Try to
include characters like ‘!’, ‘$’, ‘*’ or ‘%’ in the password. Personal
info should NOT be included in your

5) Change
your password regularly
: It is a good idea to change your password
every couple of months to be safe – although this isn’t vital to stay
safe, it’s just advisable. Use different passwords on different sites.

6) Email.
Do not click on links in emails from people that you do not know. Ignore
and delete emails that request your financial information.

7) Spam
. When you sign up to services online your personal
information may be used by others to send you emails you don’t want.
Don’t give banking details or usernames to anyone via email. You may
even receive emails claiming to be from your bank, but again do not give
your details.

8) Buying
. If you do use the internet to buy items, then make sure the
website’s payment section has a ‘https’ web address. This shows that it
is a secure payment system.

9) Backup
Regularly. Backup Regularly
. You may want to keep important
documents saved onto a USB stick to ensure your work is safe if your
computer (in a worst case scenario) becomes infected. USB sticks can
also become infected, but should not cause a problem as long as you keep
your virus-scan up to date.

Don’t panic. If your computer gets a virus, then it CAN
usually be removed by simply running a virus scan. If worst
comes to worst, then the computer’s ‘Recovery’ CD (which came
with your computer) can be used to restore the computer to its
original settings – although this means that work stored on it
will be lost. Any doubts, then ask someone with good computer
knowledge and they should easily be able to help you.

man showing panic in office

This article has been supplied by Intaforensics 
providers of independent Computer and Mobile Phone Forensics and Forensic Data Recovery to the legal sector, police forces, local
authorities and commercial organisations internationally.

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