Staying safe online

Computer Sicherheit im Internet Schloss Symbol sicher surfen im Internet

Keeping yourself safe online is an absolute must for everyone these days.

Forth Valley College Computing Lecturer and cyber security expert, Susan Gardner passes on some handy tips and advice to make sure your internet and social media use is a safe as it can be.

Privacy Settings

  • You should make sure that the information you share online can only be seen by the people you want to see it. Use the privacy tools provided by different social media platforms to protect your information.
  • You should never share your passwords with anyone. Allowing friends access to your passwords means those passwords are no longer safe. If you fall out with your friends this information may fall into the wrong hands and you will become a victim of cybercrime.
  • Passwords should be made up of a minimum of 8 characters. These should include symbols, numbers, upper and lowercase characters (Example – ImS4fe!. But please don’t use this one!)

Online Friendships

Making friendships with people online that you don’t know can be a risk. You should only add people you know and have had interaction with (but I am sure you already knew that didn’t you?)

Online there is no way to be certain that a person is who they say they are. All you need is a fake email address and you can pretend to be anyone you want to be.

Social networks are full of fake profiles, if you have more than 200 friends on social media you probably have a few fake ones in there.

Some indications of a fake profile to look out for would be:

  • asking too many details about your personal life
  • wanting your mobile number
  • asking where you go and who you meet up with
  • pretending to be friends with your friends and asking for the conversations to be kept private.

If someone asks you to keep things secret that’s a sign that something is not quite right. Oh and if anyone asks for pictures, never do that, EVER!

Remember once your information is out there you can never get it back.