Includes tips for mobile phone safety, online games, WiFi security, online shopping, scams to look out for and advice for parents.
Telstra's top social networking tips:
- Be careful about installing extras on your personal social networking page. Take the time to research the add-on/application to know what type of information they want you to share with them.
- Publish only information you are comfortable with everyone seeing - once it's online it's always online. Anything you do, say, share or post online is potentially available to anyone to see even if you delete it.
- Protect your privacy. Don't give out personal details like your date of birth or address.
- Don't become 'friends' with people you don't know in the real world.
- Let someone know what's happening, speak to your parents, teacher or someone else you trust so they can help.
- If your parents or guardians are concerned about potential cyberbullying report it to your school or local police if there is a safety threat.
- Don't delete any emails, Instant Messaging conversations or texts you receive from the bully as this helps any investigation made by the school or police.
- Try not to respond to a bully and if you can, block them so you can't receive emails or instant messages from them.
- Don't forward any rumours or offensive material you receive about someone else - you don't want to be a cyber-bully too.
Telstra's handy tips for online gaming
- Keep your private information private - create safe nicknames, usernames and gamer tags.
- Play online or download games from reputable sites. Proven sites are not likely to give your machine malware problems or abuse your personal information.
- Make sure you understand a game's ratings and terms and conditions before you start - this will help you understand what type of behaviour is expected of you.
- Cyber-bullying and harassment can happen in the gaming world too. If you experience anyone who is abusive block further contact and report the abuse. For kids, and let your parents know if you feel threatened.
Tips to help keep your mobile phone safe
- Be careful who you provide with your mobile phone number and respect your friends privacy by not giving away their details.
- Ensure your mobile phone is PIN locked.
- Ensure you know what to do and where to go if you receive unwanted text or voice messages.
- Notify your mobile service provider if your phone is lost or stolen.
- Monitor online usage - not all content viewed on a mobile phone is “free to browse”. Think about if a pre-paid plan would suit you better.
- Think before you send. The person who you send text, picture or video to may not be the only one who will see them.
Tips for helping you shop safely online:
- Do some research. Check out other items in a similar condition - is the asking price reasonable?
- Find out as much as you can about the item. Read the description carefully and check the photos closely. If you're unclear about any details, ask the seller for a bit more info. For big ticket items such as cars and boats, it is always worth going to inspect them first.
- Check the payment and delivery options. Make sure you understand the payment and delivery options and any other terms or conditions the seller is stipulating before you commit to buying the item.
- Know who you're buying from. Check the seller's feedback and ratings from previous transactions. Reading feedback from other buyers is a great way to judge if a seller is an honest and reliable trader.
- Choose a payment method you feel comfortable using. Safer payment methods provide you with proof of payment. Never send cash in the mail or use money transfer services (eg Western Union or Money Gram) to send payments to people you don't know.
- Be aware of the latest online scams. Pay particular attention to sales where the item seems underpriced.
- Trust your instinct. Things that seem too good to be true often are!
- If you have concerns regarding the legitimacy of a particular seller or advertisement(s) contact the website that is hosting the advertisement(s) for their advice.
- Be very wary of anyone requesting you to send funds overseas, it could be a scam.
- Be aware that counterfeit goods are sold on line as well, if unsure of an item’s legitimacy ask the seller if a certificate of authenticity comes with the item.
Common scams to be aware of …
Beware of any unsolicited emails from organisations requesting you to update your personal/financial details. To make their emails look genuine, the phishers may have copied an organisation's logo, images or even their entire website. Call your service provider if you are unsure.
Wire transfer scams
Beware of any sellers requesting you to send funds overseas - this scam involves the seller engaging the buyer off-site (usually via email) and convincing them to send money through an international money transfer service for an item that will never be shipped.
Domestic non-delivery fraud (domestic)
Beware of ads for high value electronic items advertised for a low price – unsuspecting buyers make contact and send funds to the seller but never receive the item.
Buyer fraud scam
Beware buyers requesting you send the item you are selling overseas. They may send a fake invoice from a financial provider to dupe you into thinking they have paid.
Telstra's tips for parents to help protect your kids in the online world:
- Keep the family computer in an open area such as the kitchen or living room where it can be monitored.
- Understand the sites and technology your kids use and know who they're talking too.
- Create a list of online 'rules' with the family eg. time limits, list of OK sites to visit.
- Educate your kids so they know not to give out personal details online without parental knowledge.
- Make sure your kids know what to do and where to go if they encounter cyber-bullying.
- Regularly sit with your kids when they are on the internet or look over their shoulder. Let them know you are keeping track of their online activity.
- Keep online friendships online - never let your kids go to meetings with ‘online’ friends without parental supervision.
- Talk with your family about the risks of internet use, particularly in chatrooms.
- Reinforce positive behaviour and values in the online world.
- Don't ignore new technologies - kids and teens will use them, if not at home then at their friends’ houses or in the school yard.
- Install software or services that can filter or block offensive websites. Visit ACMA for more information or BigPond Security for a suitable product.
- Visit www.cybersmart.gov.au for other valuable information on how you can keep your kids safe online
- Find out more helpful advice about cyber-bullying from Jackie Van Vugt from the Alannah and Madeline Foundation. (YouTube Video.)
Here are some tips to keep your WiFi secure:
Only use WiFi Protected Access (WPA) encryption and preferably WPA2 which is the latest version. If your router does not support this, you should consider buying a new router.
Strong encryption is essential with all WiFi connections so your communication ‘over the air’ is safe (think bank account details, PIN numbers, or passwords).
Change the default Service Set Identifier
The Service Set Identifier (SSID) is a name that identifies your particular home network from everyone else’s network. It is public information as it can be seen ‘over the air’.
Always change this from the manufacturers default. Don't use personal information in the SSID such as your name.
Use a strong encryption password.
The encryption password is used as a key to encrypt and decrypt your information as it passes ‘over the air’ between your PC and your router. If this password can be guessed by an attacker then they can decrypt and see all of your communications without your knowledge.
Set an encryption password that is hard to guess and one that is different from the SSID. It should be a minimum length of eight characters. Use a mix of uppercase, lowercase, digits, and punctuation. Never use dictionary words or personal information such as names. You can check how secure your password is via Microsoft Online Safety site.
Use a strong Administration password
Every router has an administration password (which is different from the encryption password) which allows you to change settings and backup the router.
Always change the manufacturers’ default administration password on your router. Use a strong password like you would for the encryption password.
Enable Media Access Control address filtering
Nearly all routers will have some form of filtering known as ‘MAC address filtering’. This allows you to specify exactly which PCs or laptops are allowed to connect and use the router.
Disable remote management
Some routers have the capability to manage the router remotely. If you disable your WiFi remote management, it lowers the risk of attacks via the management interface of the router. A hacker would need to be physically plugged into your home network to compromise the router.
Configure logging and system time settings
Routers can record things such as errors and access information. Set up your router so you can keep track of this sort of information. This will allow accurate diagnosis of any problems with your router.
Backup your router configuration
Routers have different configuration settings depending on the model. Make a backup copy of the configuration settings to a secure location on your desktop in case disaster strikes.
Disable your WiFi if it is not being used
Many routers have the functionality to turn your WiFi access off. If you do not need to use your WiFi, say if you are going on holidays, it is safest to turn it off while you are away.
If you have a BigPond Wireless Broadband Network Gateway or are thinking of buying one, the self install kit includes several steps to secure your home network.