Protecting your privacy online
In this course, you’ll learn about the important aspects of online privacy: what you need to keep private, what personal information is important, and how controlling all of this lets you use the internet safely and securely.
You’ll also find out about a service called a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, and why you might want to use one for added privacy and security.
Before you start, take some time to watch the short video below that outlines the top eight ways you can protect your privacy and personal information online.
Welcome to '8 Ways to Protect Your Privacy Online'. In this video, you'll learn about eight easy ways to help protect your privacy and stay safer online. Using strong, secure passwords. One of the most important things you can do is to ensure you use strong passwords and keep them secure. A strong password is at least eight characters long and should have a mix of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. If you have trouble remembering all your passwords, installing a password manager application on your device lets you keep them securely in one place and access them with just a single master password.
Update apps and devices Cyber crooks are always looking to exploit bugs and vulnerabilities in old apps and operating software. But you can reduce this risk by installing any updates on your device as soon as they become available. Install antivirus software For extra protection against crooks and scammers, you can install antivirus software. This helps guard against malicious software that's designed to harm your device or trick you into sharing your personal information
Be careful when clicking on links in emails and text messages. Most malicious software will reach your device as a link in an email or text message from someone you don't recognise. Never click on these links. Even if a message looks genuine, remember that your bank or myGov will never send you a link asking you to change a password. If you are unsure about any messages from sites that you trust, you can always phone first and check
Use trusted, secure websites Of course, a site you can trust is not just one you know. It's also one that is secure. A secure site will encrypt any information you share and will have a padlock symbol in the address bar and https://. You should also double-check that the website address is correct, to be extra sure that it's genuine. Be careful about sharing personal information. A secure site encrypts the information you share with it, so it is safe to provide your personal details such as your name, address, bank details, or date of birth. Be very careful, however, about sharing any personal information with websites that aren't secure or which you don't know, including businesses and people on social media sites.
Be careful when using public Wi-Fi Don't use public Wi-Fi for any online activities that involve your personal details, even if you're using secure sites, such as those from your bank or the government. Public Wi-Fi is not as secure as your home Wi-Fi or your phone's mobile data connection. And in a cafe or shopping centre, anyone might see you enter your login details.
Understand app permissions Be careful about the permissions you grant to the apps you use on your mobile devices. It would be reasonable, for instance, for a social media app to want access to your contacts list. It's not reasonable, however, for a weather app to do so. If you aren't sure about why an app wants access to features on your phone or tablet, you can refuse permission. Some parts of the app may not work properly if you do this, but your privacy and those of your friends and family is worth it. With a little bit of know-how and some sound online safety practises, you'll be well on the way to safeguarding your privacy on the internet.