Safeguarding Your Information on the Internet

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Surfing online is a great way to get your news, keep in touch with loved ones, shop, or just spend time relaxing.

But with online scammers, risk of viruses and hackers it’s important to remember to protect yourself.

Here are some tips!


Install Antivirus Software

Make sure anti-virus software is installed on your computer which you update regularly. Not only can viruses cause you to not be able to use your computer, it can mean that your personal information is hacked, or that your computer is used as a host to conduct illegal activities.


Protect Your Financial Information

  • Check your credit card and bank statements regularly for strange or unfamiliar charges
  • Try to minimize the use of your credit or debit card on the internet. Try registering to Paypal, a trusted third party site who will protect your information.
  • Do your best to buy through trusted, large sites.


Choose the Right Password

A good hacker can potentially hack your password, especially if it’s easy to guess. What makes a password more secure?

  • Two or more random words strung together
  • Uncommon Acronyms, such as a phrase you like
  • Numbers, symbols and random letters
  • Generally the longer the password the better


  • Single words that have an obvious link or significance to you
  • Personal information, like family names or birthdays
  • Easy keyboard combinations like 12345


Common Internet Scams

  • Impersonators of financial institutions requesting passwords or personal information. If you have suspicions, call your bank to clarify or report the email. Financial institutions will never ask for such information through email.
  • Unknown emails promising big cash, travel or other sorts of enticing prizes
  • Remember that friend’s emails can be hacked as well. If a friend sends you an email with the subject of the email being suspiciously urgent, or something that is would cause you immediate concern. Examples include “I’m stuck without cash in the UK, please help” or “IS THIS A PHOTO OF YOU?” Hackers know to craft subjects that invoke emotion or concern which are more likely to be opened. Don’t be fooled!
  • Some online purchasing sites will request your credit card information in exchange for a ‘free’ sample of their product. Nothing is ever free. If they are asking for your credit card information, chances are they will figure out a way to charge you. (It might even be legal if you’re not reading the fine print.)

The internet is a great tool for many purposes. But remember – what goes online will stay online. Remember to take precautions to protect yourself.