How can you prevent confidential information on your PC becoming available for other people?
What to look out for
Always trust your commonsense if you have any doubts or feel asking questions is appropriate. Never pass on confidential information via the internet. Never tell anyone your passwords, just as you wouldn’t with your bank information.
E-mails are not always what they seem:
- E-mails that ask you to unsubscribe from a mailing list. Check to see whether the message comes from a reliable information service. Only agree with the request if you have actually subscribed to this mailing list and want to unsubscribe from it. Otherwise you are only confirming to the spammer that your e-mail address actually exists and it can be used to receive more spam.
- E-mails that ask for money. If you receive an e-mail containing an improbable story and in which you are promised a sum of money in exchange for your collaboration, be on your guard. It is probably a con trick.
- E-mails with attachments (extensions). Watch out for e-mails with attachments. You never know who the sender is. In fact it may be that the e-mail address has been stolen from one of your friends/acquaintances. All extensions can be potentially dangerous, including photos and videos.
More and more websites have a secure link. In the address bar, you’ll see https:// instead of http://. The information going to and from the website will then automatically be encrypted.
A certificate is used to make this secure link possible. This certificate checks to see whether the website is actually managed by the company that is the owner of the certificate.
You can view the details of the certificate by clicking on the padlock next to the address bar at the top in your browser. There are also certificates that colour the address bar green when the proper security is in place. Most internet banking websites use this type of security, for example.
The importance of a good password
You use a password to check your e-mail, login to social media websites, check your invoices online, ... So it's important to have a good password.
Some tips for keeping your password safe
- Devise a new password for all of your online activities.
- Also be sure not to use the password for your e-mail account to register yourself online (often using your e-mail address)
- Make sure you never tell anyone your password by e-mail or on the phone, even if the request comes from a reliable company or individual. A banking institution, a helpdesk, etc. will never ask for your password so it can offer you further assistance.
- Make sure that no one else can see when you are entering your password.
- Do not write down your password on a piece of paper and leave it lying around near your computer.
- Do not save your passwords in your browser. Otherwise anyone using your computer can use the passwords you have saved for those sites.
Many online communication tools allow programs and photographs to be exchanged. This way, your computer can be infected with spyware or other malware. Don't accept files from everyone. Make sure to check exchanged files using a virus scanner before opening them.
How can you protect yourself better?