Blog by Jamie D?browiecki
“Safer Internet Day” (or SID) is organised by Insafe in February of each year to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially amongst children and young people across the world.
Safer Internet Day 2013 will be the tenth event, today - Tuesday 5 February 2013. The theme for the day is 'Online rights and responsibilities', when users are encouraged to 'Connect with Respect'.” - http://www.saferinternetday.org
Staying safe whilst using the internet is very important. While the internet is a great place for contacting friends and extending your knowledge and understanding, it also holds some threats.
This is particularly true for children and young people and there are various ways to ensure you or your child can browse the web without trouble; here are some of the guidelines.
Passwords: using a variety of passwords and having complex passwords is key to making sure no-one accesses your account without your permission.
- Use a variety of passwords – try not to keep the same password for different websites and credentials. If someone is trying to gain access to important details and you have the same password for all platforms the person can gain access to everything.
- Complex passwords – try to use complex passwords as these are much more difficult to guess. Avoid using details close to you (names, dates of birth) And don’t use the word ‘password’!; try to use phrases with a mixture of uppercase, lowercase and numbers (and possibly symbols if you can). An example of a complex password would be something like this: [apPlec0re].
It’s good to pay close attention to all sign-in screens online. You should always be wary of any message that asks for your personal information or messages that refer you to a web page asking for these details.
Look out for messages or website links which are ‘phishing’ – that is attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. In such cases you might be asked for information including the following details:
- Usernames and passwords
- National Insurance numbers
- Bank account numbers
- PINs (Personal Identification Numbers)
- Full credit card numbers
- Your mother’s maiden name
- Your birthday
If you are ever asked any of these details through e-mail or on a website and you are not sure, always contact the company through telephone to make sure it is really them asking for this information.
Saving banking details:
When possible try not to save your online banking details on websites and online systems. Doing this will prevent other people from accessing your banking if they are able to use your computer. Do not keep banking passwords or details on your computer either.
Another place which you may not think of is gaming systems. Try not to save your banking details on these online systems; people often forget when you are playing online you are connected to the internet, meaning you are just as much at risk as when you’re on a computer. In recent times Sony fell victim to a hacking scandal from Hactivist group Anonymous, and gamers’ confidential details that were saved onto the gaming system were stolen. Reportedly, personal information of 77,000,000 accounts was accessed, and also some users’ banking details were obtained.
Remember; if you ever feel uncomfortable or unsure of something when online; get in contact with the appropriate authorities or contacts. For more information, here are some useful links:
- Safer Internet Day - http://www.saferinternetday.org
- Google Stay Safe Online - http://www.google.co.uk/goodtoknow/online-safety/
- Get Safe Online - http://www.getsafeonline.org/
- Stay Safe Online - http://www.staysafeonline.org/