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22nd October is the start of the Get Safe Online Week


Did you know that 22nd October is the start of the Get Safe Online Week? Don’t worry if you didn’t, you’re certainly not alone!

Get Safe Online Week - Click and TellSo what’s it all about then? Well, to quote from their website, “Get Safe Online is the UK’s leading source of unbiased, factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety.” It’s a jointly funded initiative between the government and businesses, aiming to help everyone to stay safe with everything they do online. It’s a pretty tall order as the number of ways people use online systems and the ways things can go wrong – accidentally or through deliberate attempts at fraud etc – are constantly expanding.

The aim for the Get Safe Online Week in October is fairly simple – all they want is for people to pass on a piece of advice to at least one other person. The internet is a great place but it also provides the ideal environment for criminals to carry out fraud, identity theft, bullying.... There will be “Click & Tell” Roadshows running in a few major cities (Cardiff, London, Leeds, Edinburgh and Belfast), fun and games on their website, and hopefully lots of general advertising in the press. There isn’t a local Roadshow, so I’m doing my bit by trying to give all of the Green Book readers something to think about.

The internet is a great place but it also provides the ideal environment for criminals to carry out fraud, identity theft, bullying, computer damage and many other activities that spoil the online experience for their victims. Following some simple, practical, expert advice can help to prevent these problems from happening.

Some of the most important tips are:

  1.  Make sure your computer has up-to-date internet security software, and that the software is switched on at all times.
  2.  Don’t reveal personal information on social networking sites.
  3.  Regularly backup the data on your computer and smartphone/tablet.
  4.  Never reveal your password or PIN when asked to do so by email or on the phone.
  5.  Make sure your wireless network is secure at all times.
  6.  Be careful who you are selling to and buying from on auction sites.
  7.  Choose strong passwords, change them regularly and don’t tell anybody what they are.
  8.  When shopping, paying or banking online, always make sure the website is secure.
  9.  Always download the latest software and operating system updates when prompted.
  10. Remember your smartphone is also a target for viruses and spyware.

As highlighted by this magazine last month, there’s been a lot of activity recently with people ringing up pretending to be from ‘Microsoft’ or a similar company and wanting to talk about the problems you are currently having with your computer. I can’t emphasise too strongly that this is a classic scam call. Don’t talk to them, don’t let them ask you questions or get you to try typing things on the computer – in fact, don’t even admit to having one!

If you ever have any doubts about being asked for information on the phone or on a website etc, always ask why the information is needed. If you’re not totally sure, don’t do it! Ask somebody else for an opinion – a family member or friend can often help to determine whether something is genuine. If necessary, do some research of your own on the internet or ask an expert. Please don’t be frightened to ask - it’s always far far better to be safe than sorry.

There’s so much more to be said about this, but there just isn’t enough space here. There’s lot more advice available on the Get Safe Online website at And if you have any questions, then you could try giving me a ring – I’m always more than happy to talk about security.

Get Safe Onlibe Week - Click and TellRemember - Get Safe Online Week is your opportunity to pass on online safety tips to friends, family, colleagues, neighbours or even strangers who you think may benefit from the advice.

Don’t waste the chance to learn something new yourself at the same time as helping someone else out.

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Publication Details

  • Date: October 2012
  • Publication: Over Wyre Focus and Garstang Focus
  • Page: Over Wyre - 52 / Garstang - 25
  • Link: