Thursday, 3 October 2013

Online Safety - Key Points

Here is a recap/additional key points related to yesterday’s session about online safety:

-Phishing through email- Never click suspicious links, even if they come from a friend or a company you know. This includes links sent through emails. If one of your friends clicks on spam they could accidentally send you that spam or tag you in a spam post. You also shouldn't download things (ex: a .exe file) if you aren’t sure what they are or who they are from.  Last year, some teachers in the CBE clicked on an email that they thought was from the CBE requesting their Username and Password. The credentials ended up with some hackers in China, and they used the CBE mail system to send out spam. Consequently, CBE Emails were black listed by many service providers for a short period.
-Phishing websites- Sometimes scammers will set up a fake page to look like a Social Network/Bank login/Company page, hoping to trick you into entering your user name and password. Make sure you check the page's URL (web address) before you enter your login info. When in doubt, you can always type the original website (i.e into your browser to get to the real site
-Passwords-  Use combinations of at least eight letters (ideally 11), numbers and punctuation marks and don't use this password for any of your other accounts.  A password is great for smartphones tablets as well, but if you decide to go with a numeric code it is a good idea to use multiple digits and to periodically clean your screen (so fingerprints on your ‘code’ are not visible).
-Privacy Policies – It is a good idea to read and understand who ‘owns’ the information you post online. Last year there was a public uproar because a popular social media site was planning to sell pictures of it’s users because it ‘owned’ them:
-Never give out your login info (ex: email address and password). Sometimes people or pages will promise you something (ex: free poker chips) if you share your login info with them. These types of deals are carried out by cybercriminals and violate the social media terms. If you're ever asked to re-enter your password on any site (ex: you're making changes to your account settings) check to make sure the address of the page is still in the URL
-Be careful what you post online, and understand who has access to the information.  There are a variety of sites like where you can type someone’s name and location, and have the site  check a variety of online databases (like Social Media Sites). It is used by employers to do background checks on people.
-Newer Technologies (Cellphones/Cameras/Tablets) have a GPS chip inside them. The GPS chip is used to add additional information to a picture (i.e Author/Location/Camera Type etc).  Photos that have this geotag information and that are shared with other people can be tracked back to you. The process is called GeoTagging.  Here is a site that shows how to disable geotag on Apple/Android Devices:
-Deleting yourself from Social Media is a site that provides instructions and links to removing yourself from Social Media. If you decide to do this, it is a good idea to purge the contents of your online service.
-New Types of Computer  Viruses -  Hackers have the ability gain control of  your computer webcam without you even knowing. If you like, you can stick a piece of electrical tape (or a sticky) on your computer webcam.
There was a story on CNN about this last week:

-Have anti-virus software to protect yourself from viruses and malware you can go to a site like to download  other free programs such as -  AVG Antivirus software

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