Online Safety information...
Some websites will ask you to fill out a registration form before you can use them. While this is normal practice, it's a good idea to find out what the website will do with your personal details. All companies that collect information have to tell their customers how personal information will be used. Make sure you check the website's terms and conditions if you want to know.
Some sites allow other companies to use details from their user database for market research purposes. Companies have to give you the chance to tell them if you don't want your details to be used in this way. This is often done by having a tick box on the online registration page. If you don't want your information to be used for marketing purposes, make sure you tick that box before you submit your information.
Protect yourself and your computer against online threats
Many people are still reluctant to shop on the internet because they believe that their bank details are not safe. Luckily, shopping on the web is now just as safe as ordering goods over the telephone, as long as you follow a few common sense rules.
Make sure that if you do order goods over the internet, the company that you're buying from uses a secure shopping server. You'll know if it is a secure site if a padlock icon appears at the bottom of your browser window, or the web address begins with 'https:'.
If it's a company that you've never heard of before, search their site for any contact numbers and postal addresses. If they're a respectable company, they won't mind you giving them a quick call to ask them a few questions.
Also, make sure that you never send your bank details to anyone in an email. Legitimate banks and online stores will never ask you to do this as it is not a secure way of sending information.
If you do receive an official-looking email that asks you to send your financial details, you should never reply as you could become a victim of identity fraud.
Hutton IT have teamed up with AVG to offer our customers Identity Protection, this product will help secure you against identity theft while online. For further information on this product please click here.
General Internet use
There are loads of sites around that allow you to talk to other people on the web. Chat rooms give you the chance to have a conversation with other people and get instant replies, while online message boards let you post up questions or comments and ask other users to give their opinion in their own time.
It can be a great way to chat to other people who share your interests, but you should always be careful not to pass on any of your personal details. You should always keep in mind that internet users can pretend to be anyone they like. They can lie about their age, their interests and whether they're male or female. No matter how long you've been chatting, remember that they're still strangers; you don't really know them at all.
Social Networking sites
Some of you may have your own web page set up that lets you chat with friends or communicate with other users who share your interests. These 'social networks' also let you create your own blog, upload photos and videos for others to see, and add people to an online friends list.
Social networks are a great way of keeping in touch but you should think carefully before adding someone to your list of online friends or posting a blog entry that could get you into trouble at school, college or work. Remember that:
If you are looking for more information about staying in control of your page and how to get the most out of social networking sites, ThinkUKnow has all the advice you need.
Chat room safety
To stay safe, make sure that when you're using a chat room or posting on a message board, you never give out any personal information like your address or your phone number. You should always use a nickname, so no-one can look you up in a telephone directory and get your home phone number.
It's usually not a good idea to arrange to meet up with someone that you've been chatting to online. Remember that you can never be sure that they're telling the truth about their age or their interests and you could be putting yourself in danger.
If you do want to meet up with someone you've met online, make sure that you discuss it with your parents beforehand. If they do agree, make sure that you arrange a meeting in a public place and that you take an adult with you.
Thanks for taking the time to read this information, we hope that it will help you stay safe whilst online.
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