Thinking about New Year’s resolutions?
Here’s one that’s easy to keep and will help you stay safe online
Do you use the New Year as an opportunity to make resolutions to change various aspects of your everyday life for the better? It could be changing your diet, getting more exercise, taking up a new hobby or saving up for something special.
We’d like to suggest another one: getting into better online habits. If you do, you’ll enjoy using the internet with increased safety and more confidence. You’ll be able to protect yourself, your family, finances, devices and workplace. And what’s more, this resolution could be easier to keep than all the others you make!
Top tips to help you make and keep your online safety New Year’s resolution
You may like to share the good times with all your contacts, but take a moment to think about what and why you’re sharing, whose hands it could fall into and how it might affect others.
Do some mobile housekeeping
If you and your mobile are inseparable, it’s a good idea to review what apps you have loaded, and delete those you haven’t used for six months. Check privacy and location settings on all your apps, as well as your device and camera. Make sure your mobile devices are protected with a passcode, and download a reputable security app.
Take some time to check that your passwords are difficult to guess or crack, stored securely and apply to only one account. Make sure the software, apps and operating systems on all your devices are updated when prompted, or better still set this to happen automatically. Check that you have up-to-date, high quality internet security software (antivirus/antispyware) on all your devices, including mobiles.
Keep your payments secure
When you’re making online payments for purchases, services or money transfers, make sure they’re via a secure web page or authorised app. Being asked to pay for something by bank transfer – whether it’s for goods, a holiday or travel, concert tickets or anything else could be a sign that you’re being defrauded.
Protect yourself from fraud
To safeguard yourself from online fraud, think twice before opening email attachments, or clicking on links in unexpected emails, texts and social media posts. Learn how to spot bogus emails, texts and posts. Don’t provide any more information than is absolutely necessary. And remember that online, not everyone is who they may appear to be. If in doubt, call the organisation or person the communication claims to be from, on the number you know to be correct.
Voice your opinions, beliefs, and agreement or disagreement with others in a balanced, objective, tolerant way. This will earn you wider respect than out-and-out attacking speech, or blindly following or spreading what others say. Treat others as you’d like to be treated yourself. There’s no place online – or anywhere else – for abuse on grounds of race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, appearance or beliefs.
You can find more information on all of these at www.getsafeonline.org