Online safety

Online safety

As more and more of our information is saved and shared online, it is becoming increasingly important to manage your online safety and keep your data safe and secure. This section will introduce you to a range of practical skills from backing up your assignments at university, to avoiding online scams.

Internet Safety and Privacy

Online safety

Many of us use the internet for a variety of purposes such as social media, online banking, shopping, and for education. However, it is important that you use the internet safely to protect yourself against computer crime and security risks.

Scams and phishing emails
There are a wide variety of online scams on the internet, so it’s important to be aware when you are being scammed and when you aren’t.

Phishing emails are when a criminal sends an email that appears to be from a legitimate source asking for personal information. If you provide this information to the criminals, they will then use it to hack into your accounts.

The following video will show you how you can protect yourself against online scams.

Safe storage and backups

It is important to store and back up any data safely, so that you are in control of who has access to your data. There are a wide variety of storage options available, ranging from physical storage (such as USB drives) to virtual storage (such as cloud storage).

This blog post has info about storage

Passwords and Credential Stuffing

The University requires you choose a safe password for your IT account and to change it regularly - never share this password with anyone. To ensure a password is as secure as possible, whether for home or work use, don't pick dictionary words as these are easy for automated hacking systems to guess. Also make sure the password doesn't relate to you - don't use your registration number, your birthday, your pets' or family members' names for example.

Recently the UK National Cyber Security Centre published an analysis of passwords available online from existing breaches at various organisations (including LinkedIn).

Worldwide, weak passwords like “123456”, “qwerty”, “password” (along with football team names like “liverpool” and “chelsea”) are being used to secure millions of user accounts on social media, shopping sites and even banks.

These passwords provide little protection both due to their reduced number of characters (no variation in upper/lowercase or special characters). This means they can be cracked relatively quickly even by complete novices using freely available automated tools. In addition to this, such passwords have been made widely available in common password lists for use in random attacks on services, this is known as ‘credential stuffing ‘.