Be Safe Online

I was reading this story on the BBC News and thought most people will take a look; think about it and then ignore it because they don’t realise how easy it is: so this post is intended as a quick guide to being safe online. A much better guide can be found here the government sponsored Get Safe Online website.

The first thing to point out is that people who hack computers are criminals so nothing they say can be trusted; an example: looks the same as the link in the first paragraph doesn’t it? Click on it and see what happens: don’t worry it’s safe. Thinking smile

Assuming this site hasn’t been hacked that link will take you to an error page. So how did I do that? it’s easy:

<a href="></a>

That’s the line of code that does it: the first part is the actual link; the second part, between the >< is what gets displayed on screen. I can put anything I want in there. I have deliberately used web addresses but often you will see a link displayed like this one: Click here to go somewhere nice!!! I hope you weren’t tempted to click it. Angry smile

OK so how do I know where I’m going: Take a look at these screenshots of a link:

image    image

The second picture was captured when I had my mouse hovering over the link; notice the address showing in the browser status bar. Now try it with our example and you will see the true link displayed.

imageIf your status bar isn’t showing turn it on; in Internet Explorer: click your right mouse button in the top part and check Status Bar

imageIn E-Mails hover over a link and you will see a popup; this is one I got this morning:

OK I just know you are going to say “it’s too much trouble to do that every time” which is exactly what the hacker is relying on.

So what to do:

  • Make sure your system is kept up to date
  • Make sure your Anti-Virus software is kept up to date and running
  • Get the latest version of your browser – they are more secure; I use Internet Explorer 10 which came out with Windows 8 but it is available for earlier operating systems.
  • Don’t be tempted by get rich quick links:- if it looks too good to be true it probably isn’t true.
  • Use Parental Control software to protect your kids if they are browsing (I bet you didn’t check the link Winking smile)
  • Just be aware and think before you click.
  • DO NOT IGNORE the warning box: Read it.

imageBy the way; if the little light beside your webcam comes on without you turning it on:

You’re being watched:

Don’t worry too much; my code can’t run unless you let it so when you click a link and a warning box comes up: read it before clicking YES.

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