Staying safe online

Technology and the internet are part of our everyday lives and make a lot of things much easier. However, it’s important to keep in mind some general safety tips when you’re online to make sure you stay safe and avoid becoming a victim of online crime.

Here are some things you can do to stay safe online:

  • Make sure your computer has at least a standard firewall and regularly updated antivirus protection. If you receive strange emails in your inbox, don’t open them — delete them straight away.
  • Change your password regularly, have different passwords for each site you visit, and never give your password to anyone else.
  • Set up a block or filter for any junk/spam mail in your personal or work email account.
  • Make sure you use trusted providers when you shop online. Do your research if you’re booking a holiday over the internet to make sure the company is legitimate.
  • Only ever use secure websites when you’re doing your online shopping or checking your bank account — look out for the padlock symbol in the search bar.
  • Put an adult block on your computer that blocks unsavoury or illegal websites that might host malware or spyware.
  • Most internet providers give you the option to activate child safety features in your internet browser to help protect your children from unsafe websites.
  • Talk to your children about internet safety or get advice from their school, which may also be running cyber-safety classes. We have tips for staying safe online for children and young people.
  • If you think you might be particularly vulnerable to fraud (for example, if you’ve been targeted by fraudsters before), you can apply to Cifas for protective registration, which puts in place another layer of security when you’re purchasing goods online or in store.
  • Visit Get Safe Online for more tips and advice.
  • Remember: if an offer seems too good to be true then it often is. Be vigilant.

For more information on staying safe online, you can create a free account on My Support Space – Victim Support’s online resource containing interactive guides (including a guide on online crime) to help you move forward after crime.