eSafety: Do More Online - Safely

Your safety and security online is very important - for lots of reasons - learn some tips here

When you're shopping online, you need to know....

- Your information is going to the place you think it is.
- The information will not be misused by people you don't want to give it to.
- Your payment is safe.
- It's especially when you are giving financial and personal information online that your information is safe.

What a Website needs to know about you....

When you are using or buying something from a website, it needs to know You are who you say you are - and not someone pretending to be you.
Learn how a website asks you for your information.
Recognise how they put checks in place to ensure they are dealing with YOU and not someone else, or worse, a machine!

Both you and a website need to agree what's OK

Trust is the key word which controls whether you 'do business with a website.  
When you register with a website, you'll need to agree what to expect - the website will ask you to agree its Terms and Conditions.  You also want to know what the website does with your personal information - so you can can check its 'Privacy' policy.

More eSafety Tips and online Resources

We've put together some helpful links to help you keep yourself safe online.  
- Antivirus
- Keeping your Apps
- How to keep your passwords safe and secure
- Making safe payments online.
- General online safety sites

Verification Codes

Verification Codes are not as scary as they sound!

verification codes

A verification code a simple but effective way that a website uses to check you are who you say you are.

The website sends a message (usually a number) personally to you and ask you to tell them what they have sent you.  

Here's how it works

  1. The website sends you a text or email with a short code such '123456' - usually within minutes.
  2. Copy this code back into the box the website shows you. If you don't receive the code, you can ask for another. If it still doesn't come to you, check that you have given EXACTLY the right email and/or phone details, and try again - just in case!
  3. The website checks what you have copied against its records. And if you have done it right, you're verified and free to proceed!


Once you have used a code, you DON'T need to keep it.
If the website needs to check things with you in the future, it will send you a new code when you need it.

Is this site SAFE?

Here are some signs to look out for

An important check you can easily make is see if the website address shows that the website has a security certificate.  

Secure website - https

This verifies that the site has been checked for its origin.   

The Padlock is an additional sign of security

The higher the  level of security, the more you can be  assured of a secure link with the website

You should NOT give bank details to a website that does not at least have an HTTPS:// security certificate in its web address.
And NEVER send a password online to others

Further questions to ask:

Do you know anything about the 'brand'
  • you may know about it by:  Long established reputation - eg John Lewis, Argos
  • Other people have recommended it - either by online reviews, or by word of mouth.   Shops often carry their own customer reviews on products - don't ignore them!
  • The internet has many places where reviews are published


Web review ratings

Here are a few:

Use your common sense...

If a website doesn't look as you'd expected it, leave it! An example might be if you chose to go to an online shoe shop and end up on a lifestyle quiz.... Leave it!

Shape of the future

At the moment it's up to you to check if a website is safe by looking for the signs. At the end of 2016 Google announced it's intention to mark every website that does not have a security certifcate as unsafe. As we have more and more of our details stored online, security will become ever more important. Watch this space!

Privacy and Terms on a website

Each website where you register should, by law, have a policy that governs your relationship with it.

Agree to the Terms

You have to agree to these Terms in order to set up your account, which become the legal foundation for your account and how you and your information will be treated. Most policies contain many pages of very small print, and in practise most people simply click to 'Agree' rather than spend hours reading through and trying to understand the legal detail.
But you have been warned:  If you don't know what you are letting yourself in for....!

Privacy policy

Again, by law, websites have to tell you what they will do with your information. Like the Terms you must agree, Privacy policies are often tightly worded and difficult to understand. However, this document will tell you if the company normally passes your information to others, and how you can find out what information they hold about you.

Privacy tips

  1. When you register, you are given options on the page about your choices to receive marketing emails and whether you are happy for your info to be passed to others - or not.
  2. Read the small print beside the check boxes - Don't get caught out by missing these important options.
  3. You can usually change your marketing preferences in My Profile on the website, later.

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