Surf Safely

Where would we be without the internet? Many of us are reliant on it, using it for our day to day activities. We spend hours on it with unlimited possibilities, from watching cute cat videos to doing our weekly grocery shopping. It doesn’t matter how long we spend on it, many of us tend to forget one important detail – security. Are we really safe on the internet? Want to know some handy tips on how to stay safe? Well, keep reading!

There are three very easy, basic rules for using the internet safely:

  1. Password:

internet-safety-pictureWhen choosing a password, make sure it is difficult for someone to guess it. Use capital letters, numbers and symbols in the password, with a minimum of 8 characters. Do not use proper nouns, your name, date of birth or telephone number. Also avoid the use of the word “password”, “12345678” or even “qwerty”… it is too easy! Remember; do not disclose your password to anybody, even your closest friend.

  1. Protection:

One of the biggest errors people make is to have two protection systems running at the same time. If you do, you create a hole that hackers (people whom steal your information) can get through. Whichever protection system you have, stick to it!  If you have two running then it’s best to delete one.  And remember, both Windows 7 and Windows 10 have a built in software protection. The Windows 7 version has to be activated manually while the Windows 10 version is automatic!

  1. Site choice:

Know what site you are on!  Never click a link for a site unless you know that it is safe (including links within e-mails).  Search engines bring up a range of options to choose from so ensure that you pick the official site.
Never accept a download from any site unless you are 100% certain it is safe.
Be careful of cookies and accepting the use of them. Cookies allow companies to be sent information about you from your system, so they see it and use it!pexels-photo-270557

There are many other suggestions about what you should and should not do with the internet, but remember the axiom “if in doubt, leave it.” If you have a shadow of doubt about a site you are on, exit out of browser and do not return to it. Criminals want your information, do not give it to them!

Guest Author: Stephen Sklayne

Libraries around Redbridge are taking part in safer internet day on Tuesday 7 February. Are you? Visit for more information.

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