Staying safe online
A few simple precautions will keep you safe while you are online.
- Make sure that your computer is secure – Protect your computer with a firewall and with up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
- Don’t open spam – Spam is email that is sent automatically to millions of email addresses. It can advertise things such as drugs or pornography. If you receive an email from someone that you have never heard of, don’t open it. Delete the email immediately. If you do open it by accident, don’t click on any of the links and never reply to a spam message.
- Protect your personal information – Never give your passwords, PIN numbers or bank account numbers to anyone. Criminals send out emails that look very authentic, asking you to confirm your PIN or to go to a website and log in. If you receive such an email, do not reply to it or click on any of the links, and delete it immediately.
- Shop safely – Only buy from online retailers that have a good reputation. If you buy from auction sites, such as eBay, follow their security advice very carefully. Don’t download pirated software, music or videos. For more information on shopping safely, see our section below on shopping online.
For further information and security advice on a range of topics including: how to install anti-virus software; make backups; protect your privacy; set ground rules for children and grandchildren; and shop, bank and use online auctions safely, see the Get Safe Online website.
If the worst happens and you are a victim of a scam, or if you want advice on how to protect yourself, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 (national rate) for help or visit their website www.actionfraud.police.uk to report fraud or if you suspect you may have been targeted.
Please note this is not for emergencies, if you feel that you are in immediate danger please call the Emergency Services on 999.
Other Useful Information
- Digital Unite has a huge range of free learning guides to help people with using computers, the internet, tablets and other mobile devices. The easy-to-follow guides cover the essential topics from getting started with a mouse and keyboard to web browsing, emailing, shopping online and internet safety.
- Choose has a range of free guides on how to stay safe online, including how to stay safe when browsing the web, emailing and sharing personal information.
- Fraud & Scams article on Information NOW
- Mobile Phones article on Information Now
- Silver Training provide computer and internet training in the home and in groups for the over 50s, nationwide. Some people may be eligible for free training.
Guide to using mobile apps securely Ofcom provides a useful guide on how to keep your tablet and mobile devices safe.
Last updated: January 23, 2017