Staying Safe Online
As we are all spending more time online, internet safety is as important as ever before. Here are our top 5 tips to staying safe online.
The events of this year has meant we are all spending a lot more time online; be it Zoom meet ups with friends and family, virtual lessons, increased social media scrolling or gaming to ward off the boredom – internet safety is as important as ever before.
With a second lockdown upon us, keeping in touch online will increase again. It is important to stay connected with family and friends to boost your wellbeing and you may join online communities or start using new video calling platforms in order to keep in contact, however it is important to be aware of the risks. Some of these risks include:
- Online abuse
- Sexual Exploitation
To help you understand and tackle the risks we all face online, here are our top 5 tips to staying safe online:
1. Check Your Security & Privacy Settings
Look for the ‘privacy and security’ or ‘settings’ on the app, website or device you are using and check or adjust them to increase the security on the personal data you are sharing. By ensuring your device is using the latest version of software and apps can also improve your security.
2. Block Unsuitable Content
If you see harmful activity, report it to the site. To prevent unwanted content from appearing, set filters on your home broadband and mobile networks. The UK Safer Internet Centre has advice on how.
3. Protect Against Fraud
Criminals will use every opportunity they can to scam people, including Covid-19. Beware of fraud, scam or phishing emails and text messages relating to COVID-19 and do not give out your personal details in response to emails/text messages you don’t trust or recognise. You can find guidance on how to recognise a fraudulent email from the National Cyber Security Centre, here.
4. Check the Facts
Before you like, comment or share something online, use the SHARE checklist published by the Government to make sure you’re not spreading harmful content
- Source – make sure information comes from a trusted source
- Headline – always read beyond the headline
- Analyse – check the facts
- Retouched – does the image or video look as though it has been doctored?
- Error – look out for bad grammar and spelling
5. Take a Break
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with information at this time and constant news and social media updates can just add to your worries. Therefore if you feel it is affecting you, take a step back and limit the time you spend reading, watching or listening to media regarding the outbreak.
Remember you are allowed to leave your house for one form of exercise a day, so why not use it as a chance to take a break from screens and online media.