Digital Identity and Online Safety

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Hopefully everyone visiting this page today is aware that we need to be careful with what we share and how we present ourselves online. Today we are going to look at ways you can stay safe.

Safety First – some rules of thumb everyone should employ:

‘Can I have your password, please? Oh, go on!’

Never ever give anyone your password, either verbally or written, even if they claim to be the vendor or organisation that own your data. If they did own your details, they wouldn’t need your password to get into your account.

 ‘How many passwords do I need?!’

It’s annoying, but do keep different passwords for different sites/systems/things. Having the same password for everything is like having one key to everything you own – if you give it to someone else, you could lose everything.  Make sure it’s a good password with numbers and letters in it at the very least.

 10,000 phones

Take a few seconds, right now, to think about what information you keep on your phone; maybe leaf through your apps, services you have your card hooked up to, all your contacts, maybe some of their details  – now imagine giving your phone to a complete stranger in the street – how does that feel?  You simply must have a password set up on your mobile phone mobile devices.  It’s also a very good idea to set it up to automatically delete data if someone tries to get into it. That’s called ‘auto-wipe’, Google it along with the name of your device to find out how to set that up.

10,000?  That’s the estimated number of phones stolen in London… a month.

‘Newlyweds lost £45k for a dream home… ‘ ‘Property sellers warned not to email solicitors: ‘we lost £204,000…’ ‘Single mother loses £77k to fraudster posing as solicitors’

You may see emails that look completely legitimate, and they may appear to be from IT Services, or your bank, iTunes, or even your solicitor. Emails may even turn up at the same time that you are dealing with a vendor. Please be aware that banks are refusing to reimburse people who lose money in internet/email scams.  (links to those quotes can be found at the bottom of this page if you wish to read them)

Viruses spread like… a virus.

Keep your antivirus software up to date. Yes, even on your Mac. They’re not called viruses for nothing – and you could end up infecting other people.

Ask yourself: ‘would I say that in front of my gran, employer, my kids or a burglar?’ 

For completely different reasons (hopefully!), you might want to ask yourself whether you’d like your gran or a burglar to read or see what you’re posting online, particularly on places like Facebook and Twitter.

‘Oh no, not another update to my software?!’

Keep your software up to date, not just the virus software. Updates to things like Adobe or patches for Windows are crucial, and often have been created to keep your data safe. I’ve read in a number of places that this should be seen as the number one tactic for staying safe online. It’s not without problem however, as you will have to make a decision at some point whether the option to update your machine is legit, or a scam.  There’s no hard and fast rule to this, but reading, checking, looking for dodgy email addresses, missing logos, and misspelt messages are good indications that something isn’t right.

Activity:

Please choose one of the following videos, watch it, and post a comment about something you found within it that you didn’t know, or that you found useful, or that you would heartily recommend to others, maybe through bitter experience.  Three of the videos are on Lynda.com, and you will have to log in using your staff username and password to view them.

 Avoiding identity theft

Understand photo sharing safety and etiquette

Computer Security and Internet Safety Fundamentals

Email safety

Extra:  If you wish to do more than the allotted 5 minutes today, then please watch the other videos above.

There’s also some eye opening and useful information here: HEFCE site

Here are the links to the stories quoted in the online safety section above, they make for a rather sobering read:

Newlyweds lost £45k for a dream home to a devastating new scam …

Property sellers warned not to email solicitors: ‘We lost £204,000’

I lost £137,000 in a conveyancing scam but my bank’s fraud team had …

Single mother loses £77k to fraudsters posing as solicitors

 

 

153 thoughts on “Digital Identity and Online Safety

  1. Nermin Minter June 5, 2017 / 10:44 am

    I hadn’t realised we can do reverse image search through Google if we are concerned about our photos being shared without our knowledge. Useful reminders and tips.

    Like

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