Safer Internet Day (11 February) aims to promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology. The internet provides a gateway to an online community that can drastically reduce loneliness and isolation, feelings that most carers experience at some point. To stay safe
- Set your privacy settings – make sure you take advantage of the social media’s privacy settings to ensure you keep your personal data safe. Facebook, for example, allows you to control who can you see your posts and photos.
- Friend connection – only connect with people you know in real life on Facebook as many criminals use fake accounts to engage with people. However, Twitter and Instagram work slightly differently and it is ok to connect with people because you are interested in following their content. If people you do not send you personal messages on any of these forums, it is highly recommended you do not respond.
- Link checking – only ever click on links that have been sent to you via a bonafide source. Some links that are posted on social media can result in a computer virus or lead to malicious content.
- Strong passwords – all passwords to any online platform should be strong and based on a combination of upper and lower case letters, number and symbols.
- Overshare – be careful not to share your personal details online and be cautious of what sort of content you post. For example, do not broadcast the fact your house may be empty or that you are going on holiday.
- Financial information – never share any personal information about your banking history or financial situation. Never send any money to people if they request it via social media or email either.
- Overuse – be careful not to rely on social media completely and do not use it excessively. Although social media can help ease loneliness and can be a very supportive platform for those in a caring situation it is recommended users do not to replace real-life friendships with online relationships.
It can be easy to fall prey to cyber scams when you are tired and feeling vulnerable, make sure you read our top tips for staying safe on the internet.