If you’re a Twitter user you may have received a direct message at some point telling you that that someone had found a bad blog written about you that was being spread around the internet. Within the message is a link for you to click to let you see and read the story, yet the link asks you to log onto your Twitter home page.  Doing this action then enables fraudsters to access your personal details. This is just one of many scams that could land in your personal social media accounts and lead to you enabling fraudsters to get a hold of your details.

Help is at Hand

Luckily, Google and Citizens Advice have now teamed together to create a new website that will offer consumers advice about online website security and privacy issues.

The Good to Know website features thorough and easy to follow information on a range of issues such as:

  • Creating a strong password
  • Understanding how cookies work
  • Combating identity theft
  • Importance of logging out of public computers

The site is aimed at computer users of all ages and levels as not everyone is aware of the how important it is to protect your personal data online.

A recent report from Ofcom consumer communications panel showed that 26% of UK internet users had concerns about the safety of their personal details online. 14% were worried about privacy and 13% about fraud.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Google. Citizens Advice is all about straightforward, simple advice on the issues that matter, so helping people take control of their safety and privacy online is right up our street.”

Top Tips for Staying Safe Online

Google and Citizens Advice have come up with 5 tips for consumers to stay safe online:

1. When creating a password make a ‘strong’ password.

For example, choose a line from your favourite song, film or play like ”To be or not to be, that is the question” . From this line use numbers, symbols and letters to recreate the password 2bon2btitq – the more unusual the phrase you have the less chance you have of your password being hijacked.

2. We all receive strange and suspicious emails that sometime can look like our email provider has sent us or our banks.  Remember, never trust an email that is asking for your financial or personal information like logging into you account to update your personal data.  If in doubt check with your bank or email provider first before clicking any links, they will be able to tell you if this is a real email.

3. Look for ‘https’ and a padlock in the URL bar as this will give you confidence the site is secure.

4. Remember to sign out and shut down your browser at all times. This applies not only to public computer usage but also your own computer.

5. Take advantage of the two step verification for accounts that offer it such as Google and Facebook. 

Two step verification will add an extra layer of security to your account, so if your account is hijacked the hijacker would need to have your mobile/telephone number too.  To enable this you will need to be near a telephone and have your username and password for sign in.

For more tips and advice about on-line website security you can visit the Good to Know site.

If you have any more top tips for website security, why not let us know over on Twitter @theinsuranceoct!