How to protect yourself online

A guide to keeping you safe when you're online.

There are many ways that the websites that you use try to keep you safe.

These are:
  • Risk assessment

This is where the companies that run the websites have to determine the risks that are associated with this and have to come up with ways to prevent them from happening. This includes anything that could harm you or your computer, e.g. viruses.

  • Physical security

This means that they will not allow anybody without authorization cant get access to your information that the company has stored on their computers.

  • User ID and access rights

Only allowing people who need to know the information that a company has on you have access to it.

  • Encryption

The change of data into a code. To read an encrypted file, you have to have access to the key or password that allows you to decrypt it. Unencrypted text is called plain text. Encryption is the most effective way to get data security.

  • Secure electronic transactions

It is a protocol that make credit card transactions over insecure networks, e.g. the internet, secure.

  • Firewalls

A firewall creates a wall between a trusted, secure network and another network that is not thought to be safe, for example the internet. (The picture at the top left is a diagram to show how firewall work)

  • Virus protection

This is software that is made to stop viruses, worms, Trojan horses, etc... from getting onto a computer as well as remove any malicious software code that has already infected a computer.

These are a few threats to your data and how to prevent them.

  • Cookies

Small files automatically downloaded to your computer by websites, which can contain information about you and what you've done on that website for the website to view next time you go online.

  • Worms

A program that can reproduce itself over a computer network. It usually attaches itself to another software program and then proceeds to cause malicious damage to your computer such as shutting it down.

  • Viruses

A computer program which can copy itself and spread from one computer to another, adversely affecting the way that computer operates.

  • Spyware

A type of virus software which hides on your computer and gathers your personal data (like credit card details) to send back to a hacker or spammer.

  • Spam

Unsolicited or unwanted email.

  • Phishing

Attempting to get someone to give you their private data over the internet/email by posing as a reputable company, commonly a bank or financial institution.


  • Cookies

You can delete your cookies by going on to your settings on your browser and deleting them that way.

  • Worms

Make sure you use secure sites and do not download anything that isn't from a secure and trusted site.

  • Viruses

You can but anti-virus software from most stores that sell computers.

  • Spyware

You can protect yourself from spyware by doing the same things you would do to protect yourself from viruses and worms.

  • Spam

You can tick boxes when you sign up for websites to not get spam emails from them.

  • Phishing

Only reply to emails with a credible address and do not give any information out outside of safe sites.