Staying safe online

4 December 2020

For our final safety article, Sophie shares her top tips for staying safe online!

safe online

We all use laptops, tablets, Ipads, and phones to access the internet. We click onto many different sites, apps, emails accounts, and online banking every day. Some of the sites we use store our personal information which we want kept confidential. This article highlights ways to keep you and your details safe and protected.

Don’t make life easy for hackers

Make passwords difficult for potential hackers to guess so try to avoid using things like your middle name, pets name – things people may work out. Include a mixture of letters and numbers, including capital letters and punctuation, most sites will indicate whether the password is strong. Change your password immediately if you think your account has been compromised.  

Privacy is everything

Keeping your money in a bank is a good idea but remember to keep the cards and PIN numbers secure. You may want to think about whether you need to save your card details on your computer or online – it is best not to in case you are hacked.

This is a no Phishing zone

Phishing is an attempt to trick people into opening malicious email attachments which fraudsters use to steal personal information, email logins and passwords, and banking details. An example might be an email claiming to provide you with a list of active coronavirus infections in your area, but to access information you need to click on a link which redirects you to a credential-stealing page. If it doesn’t look authentic don’t open it and report to Action Fraud.

Prevention is better than cure

Download antivirus software on your devices and keep it up to date to help protect you from viruses and malware.  

Be a savvy shopper

Online shopping is easy, convenient and quite frankly essential in 2021 so far! That said there are online shops advertising coronavirus PPE which take your money and do not deliver. Please check they are legitimate sellers and use a credit card if possible so you have insurance if your goods do not arrive.

  • If you have an IT Security issue, for example if you have received a suspicious looking email to your university email account, you can contact ISD Security on or telephone 020 7679 7338 (internal 37338).
  • If you would like further advice please contact UCL’s Crime Prevention and Personal Safety Advisor, Sophie Bimson.

Last revised: 8 September 2021

Sophie Bimson, UCL's Crime Prevention and Personal Safety Adviser