How to stay safe online

Safer Internet Day: Stay safe online

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CONNECTED: Use the internet safely by being aware of the information you're giving out.

CONNECTED: Use the internet safely by being aware of the information you're giving out.


From passwords to Facebook, these tips will help you stay safe on the internet.


FROM floods to fires, Australia's recent weather conditions have shown how essential access to information is.

It is especially important seniors are not left out and have the online skills needed to access information at a time when online scams are becoming more and more sophisticated.

As part of Safer Internet Day, Good Things Foundation's Be Connected Network has several tips to help seniors get online safely.

Security and passwords: Your password is the key to your online accounts - and should be kept secret. Think random. Don't use meaningful words like family or pet names for passwords. These are easy to guess if people have information about you. Try using three random words that are easy to remember but hard to guess, like "streetshirtflower".

Top tip: Never give it away. Treat a password like your bank card PIN number and keep it to yourself.

Social media: Social media is great for sharing things with family and friends, but it's important to stay safe. Limit it to people you know, like friends, family and colleagues, who you're happy seeing your posts.

Top tip: Don't reveal too much. Try not to give out too many personal details on social media. This includes things like making your home address, your phone number or your email address visible.

Viruses: Just like the flu, viruses can attack your computer, tablet or phone, spreading from device to device. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to protect yourself.

Top tip: Use up-to-date antivirus software. You can buy it online or in a computer shop. Many new computers come with free antivirus software, but make sure to check when it expires so you can update or replace it.

Scams: Online scams are out there, but you can take easy measures to stay safe.

Top tip: If someone contacts you, don't provide any personal info, no matter who they say they are. Banks and companies will never ask for your full login details in a phone call or email.

Getting help: The Be Connected Network can provide people over 50 with free, local support to learn how to stay safer online. The Be Connected website also has an entire topic dedicated to staying safe online.