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Top tips for staying safe online

 

 

MyCuro is no longer supported by Internet Explorer. We recommend you use Chrome or Microsoft Edge when using MyCuro. See some more top tips for staying safe online below. 


There are many reasons to ensure you use the internet safely, from malware to phishing, data protection to viruses. Here are some top tips on how to browse safely.

Your online checklist - more details below

  1. Keep sensitive data offline
  2. Check the security and reliability of the websites you visit
  3. Use strong passwords to secure your accounts
  4. Don’t click on anything suspicious
  5. Don’t open attachments from sources you don’t recognise
  6. Keep your devise updated, ideally turn on automatic updates
  7. Avoid using public/free Wi-Fi where possible, especially for banking or making purchases
  8. Look out for misinformation
  9. Help your children to be safe online

​1.   Use reliable websites

You should only use trustworthy websites. One way to tell a website is trustworthy is to look at the URL. A padlock at the beginning means the connection is encrypted and safe.

How the website looks can also tell you if it's safe:

  • The pages should be clean, neat and free from errors
  • The use of fonts and colours is consistent
  • Adverts do not hide the content of the website

2.   Use a strong password

Strong passwords offer the best online protection. Passwords should be difficult to guess and made up of a mixture of letters, numbers and special characters.


3.   Don’t click on suspicious links

Avoid clicking on links where you don’t recognise the source, spam emails, click bait, ‘free’ offers or unsolicited adverts. They will often encourage you to click; don’t! They will often ask you to enter your personal details, but you should never share your personal information if you are not sure.

Where an email has a malicious attachment the message will say something vague like ‘see attached, what do you think?’

Make sure what you’ve clicked on is what you’re expecting when the page loads. If you hit a link to find out more about lion cubs and you get a page about an amazing new diet, it’s best to leave the page quickly.


4.   Keep your device updated

All PCs, laptops, smart-phones and tablets come with their own operating system, and you should always be using the latest versions. The same applies to applications especially if they contain your payment, health or other types of private information.

Developers are always occupied in making their products safe, looking out for new threats and constantly deploying security patches where vulnerabilities are found. If something is ‘out of support’ there won’t be regular updates and the operating system or application in question will become more vulnerable. This is why it’s no longer a good choice to use Internet Explorer (IE) to browse the internet. Microsoft no longer support Internet Explorer so it’s not safe to use. If you use Microsoft windows you should use Chrome or Microsoft Edge to browse the internet.

We don't recommend using Internet Explorer for MyCuro, as you are accessing secure data. Popular choices are Google Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge or Firefox. 


5.   Beware of free Wi-Fi and downloads

Free downloads are one of the most frequent sources of online security problems. If you download something for free, make sure it’s coming from a trustworthy source, research the name of the product and you could find comments from previous users.

Using free Wi-Fi is not always secure but sometimes you can’t escape it. Avoid accessing banking or purchasing items via free Wi-Fi if possible. If it’s not urgent, it’s best to wait until you can access a network you can trust.


6.   Don’t be caught out by misinformation

There’s a flood of misinformation on the internet, with very little regulation. Not everything is based fact. If you find something dubious research it yourself using sources you trust. Reliable websites tend to reference their source material. Anyone can post on the internet, just because someone has a channel on YouTube doesn’t make their content true.


7.   Help children be safe online

  • Explain what a digital footprint is. Consider that anything posted on the internet could be found by anyone around the world; pictures, personal information etc. 
  • Explain what 'Phishing' is and how it works, tell your child to avoid links, messages, invitations from strangers, just like they should in real life.
  • Keep online communication civil – Just as in real life, manners go a long way. The anonymity of online communication makes trolling and abusive language an easy trap to fall into.


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