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How to stay safe online

This years’ Safer Internet Day is 9th February, so we’ve collated 5 basic tips to help keep you and your students safe online:

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Don’t post any personal information online

Such as your address, email address or mobile number. You wouldn’t hand this information out to a stranger on the street, so don’t put it online for millions of people to see.

Think carefully before posting pictures or videos of yourself

There’s no delete key on the internet, once it’s posted it may stay online forever and people may be able to download it and use it elsewhere. A good rule of thumb is to not post anything online that you wouldn’t want your parents or a prospective employer to see!

Keep your privacy settings on

Don’t let hackers learn all about you from either your browsing or your social media usage. Web browsers, mobile operating systems and social media channels all have privacy-enhancing setting available; check them out and switch them on.

Choose strong passwords and never give them out

The problem with passwords is that people tend to choose easy ones so they can remember them and we use the same password for multiple sites. This makes it easy for cyber thieves to guess them and then access all your data! Ideally you need a password that is unique and complex – at least 15 characters long, mixing letters, numbers and special characters.

Remember not everyone online is who they say they are, they may not even be real.

For example, fake social media profiles are often used by hackers to get close to unwary online users and manipulate them. Be cautious with your online social life.

 

Safer Internet Day this year has the theme of “An internet we trust: exploring reliability in the online world.” We all know the internet has a vast array of information and opportunities. However, we need to be able to separate fact from fiction, and help our students do the same.

If you’d like to explore this topic further with your students, there are a number of resources to download and use on the UK Safer Internet Centre page.

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