Topic 7 Being safe and legal online

Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks. These cyberattacks are usually aimed at accessing, changing, or destroying sensitive information, extorting money from users or interrupting normal business processes.
Nowadays, companies and people are putting important, valuable information and resources on Information Technology (I.T.) systems that are connected to the Internet. What do we intend to protect?

  1. Information: Protects information from unauthorized access to avoid identity theft and to protect privacy;
  2. Data: Data security is the protection of data from accidental or intentional but unauthorized modification, destruction or disclosure  ;
  3. Application: We use a variety of apps in everyday life, all the apps hold person details or even bank details. We need to protect our apps, and ensure that no unauthorized people are able to gain access to the apps and their data.
  4. System: This involves protecting for example a company’s system
  5. Network: Protect your network from unauthorized users, restringing the number of people that have access to the shared information or systems

A simple way to protect yourself:

  1. Use a strong and separate password for your email
  2. Install the latest software and app updates
  3. Password managers: using browsers and apps to safely store your passwords
  4. Backing up your data
  5. Create strong passwords (Combine three random words to create a password that’s ‘long enough and strong enough’)
Image by vishnu vijayan from Pixabay

When using the internet it is important to stay secure as a lot of personal information, including financial ones, is transferred. To see whether a website is safe to visit, you can check for security info about the site.

For example Google Chrome will alert you if you can’t visit the site safely or privately.

  1. In Chrome, open a page.
  2. To check a site’s security, to the left of the web address, look at the security status:
  3. To see the site’s details and permissions, select the icon. You’ll see a summary of how private Chrome thinks the connection is.

Some helpful tips to stay secure using email:

  1. Create a strong password, don’t replicate other passwords
  2. Don’t share your password or write it down beside your desk
  3. Use two-step verification
  4. Make security questions difficult
  5. Ensure to regularly install updates on the device (computer/phone) and apps
  6. Avoid opening attachments unless you know it is secure
  7. Don’t click any login links or buttons in an email message
  8. Learn how to identify phishing scams

It is very common to receive phishing emails, in fact it is a way hackers have access to personal information or account data. Once they obtained the information, they are able to create new user credentials or install viruses in the system to steal sensitive data. 

Here are some ways to recognize a phishing email:

  • Urgent call to action or threats. Be suspicious of emails that claim you must click, call, or open an attachment immediately.
  • First time or infrequent senders
  • Spelling and bad grammar
  • Generic greetings
  • Mismatched email domains. If the email claims to be from a reputable company, like Microsoft or your bank, but the email is being sent from another email domain like, or it’s probably a scam.
  • Suspicious links or unexpected attachments

→ What you should do if you suspect that you received a phishing email? DO NOT OPEN IT! Delete it immediately.

Data can be stolen also from Social Media. One of the main tips is to frequently update the Social media privacy settings, to be careful having contact with personal profile that might not seem real and do not share personal information with unknown people.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has created the following factsheets on how to improve social media settings. These factsheets can help the users to view and change the advertising settings on a range of social media platforms:

Image by Werner Moser from Pixabay