Accessing Online Sources Securely

The biggest threats to personal data security are weak passwords, leaving computers logged in when unattended and malware designed to bypass security. Windows is often seen as the system most at risk, partly because most malware is targeted at Windows and because the methods of software installation allow inexperienced users to install malware . However, the number of attacks on Apple and Linux systems and Android devices is increasing, so users of these systems should also exercise caution.

The following guidelines should help you to access online systems securely:

  1. Don’t do anything unless you are sure it is safe.
  2. Ask more experienced users if in doubt
  3. Don’t publish personal details on the internet
  4. Don’t install software unless it is from a known safe source, eg: the Microsoft web site or secure download sites like CNET.
  5. Use a system that won’t allow software to be installed without first asking for your permission, e.g. User Account Control on Microsoft Windows.
  6. Keep the system up to date with security updates and patches

Next: Threats to User Safety