Staying Safe Online 101

Below are some quick tips for staying safe online. If you want to supercharge your security get our Beacon service.

A Beacon subscription constantly monitors your PC, servers and networks health, runs anti malware and intrusion detection and even identifies what personal data you have in the files on your end point and network to protect them. It also includes Data Loss Prevention tools to prevent the sending of personal information outside of your perimeter.

Get in touch with the team at helpdesk@wardmanuk.com or on 01506 530 393 to find out more.

Be careful.

The personal information you choose to share on social media websites like Facebook can be considered public domain information and outside of your control. You also cannot be sure about who is viewing, sharing or copying the data you share. Also only accept friend/connection requests from people who you know.

Always try to avoid giving out personally identifiable information like phone numbers, email/physical addresses and photographs unless it is with somebody who you know and trust.

Etiquette

It is a good idea to be nice when speaking with people online. Everybody you meet online whether it is live chat personnel, a run-of-the-mill info@ account or anything else should be treated just like you would like to be treated yourself. _You are as responsible for what you say online as you are offline and the same grievances and even criminal charges can be brought. If your children see anything online that they don’t like, they should always contact an adult right away.

Keep it secure

When shopping online, be wary of entering your payment details unless the page is secure. To check if the page you’re using is secure, look for a “padlock” symbol on the page you are shopping on. This symbol is generally found either in the search bar or the bottom right of the screen.

We recommend using a service like Revolut's disposable virtual cards for shopping online where every time you shop new randomly generated card information is used guaranteeing that the card and access to your account cannot be used twice.

Child awareness

Make sure that your children know about online security. If they have any doubts at all about a particular website or surfing the web in general, they should speak with an adult.

A good rule of thumb, if you are not sure, close the page.

Beware attachments

Downloading a malicious attachment is one of the most common ways of getting your computer infected. Be very careful when using instant messaging or email, as Spam emails containing links or attachments can very often be deadly to your computer’s health. Never click on a link or attachment that you don’t know the source of.

Our Beacon subscription includes anti malware which prevents any unknown applications from running on your computer or server.

If It is easy for you, it is easy to hack

If your password is your birth month, favourite football team or anything else that many people would know about you, it is not a secure password. And if you use that same password for accounts on multiple different websites, you are leaving yourself open to lots of people gaining access to these. It is best to have a secure password made up of numbers, symbols and letters which is virtually impossible for anybody to guess. To be even safer, use a different password over every online account you have.

Looks dodgy, is dodgy

Know how to recognise when a website is trying to scam you. If you do not know why you are being asked for information find out before sharing. If a site offers you an incentive to hand over information, avoid doing so.

There is no security tool to protect your computer or network once you let someone in.

Controls

Parental controls are a great way to ensure that your children are not looking at anything they should not be. A good parental control system will make sure your kids do what they should be doing online: kid stuff!

Beacon includes comprehensive by group and individual web filtering.

WiFi

The key you enter when accessing WiFi networks is the same key that encrypts all of your transmitted data that means that anyone else with that key can decrypt and see what you are sending.

Be wary of free public WiFi networks. Hundreds of thousands of people use these same networks every day and all with the same security key. We recommend caution when connected to these open networks and that you should never use sensitive services like banking.

Beacon VPN securely encrypts all the data that leaves your PC within it's own secure tunnel making it exponentially safer to use public WiFi.