Keeping your information safe

Whether you are checking your email, making a purchase, on social media or in a chat room, it is quite likely that you have left personal information online.

The following are several points to be aware of before entering personal information online:

Social media account

Your social media profiles, such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram probably hold most of your personal information. You should learn about the privacy settings of your social media profiles. You can adjust these settings so that you only share personal information with your friends, for example.

Bank details

You can buy a wide variety of things online, but before you type your card details into a website, you should make sure that the site is secure.

padlock2Look out for a small padlock symbol in the address bar (or elsewhere in your browser window) which will confirm the security of the site.


A scam is an illegal practice which aims to trick you into handing over personal information. This is called ‘phishing’ when it occurs online. Be extra cautious when opening attachments or responding to emails which request that you hand over personal information like passwords or bank details.


Many websites will need you to make a password. You can decide what you set as your password, but you must make sure that it cannot be easily guessed by someone else. For maximum security, we recommend that your password should be a combination of numbers, symbols and lower and upper-case letters.


Ensure that your computer has an up to date anti-virus program. This will protect your device from software threats which aim to steal your personal information. You should also never download a file from an untrusted source, as this could be a hacker trying to trick you into installing a virus.

If a file ends in .exe (Windows) or .dmg (Mac) it is an executable file, which means it can change things on your computer. Often this is fine, for example when downloading an application from a trusted source, but if you were trying to download a movie or a song from an untrusted website and the file has one of these endings, do not open it.