e-Safety Top Tips

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> Password Security

> SPAM (Unsolicited Email)

> Hoax Emails

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Password Security


It’s really important to pick a strong password for your email account so you can keep your information secure. It's also good practice to update your passwords regularly. Follow the tips below to create a strong and memorable password:


Step 1: Come up with a base word

Pick a word that's easy to remember such as the name of a pet or any common thing such as the city where you live e.g. 'Stoke'. This word will form the base of your password.

Remember: You need at least one capital letter and either a number or special character. So, using 'Stoke' as your base word, you can substitute the letter 'o' for the number '0' and/or replace the letter 's' with the dollar symbol '$' as it resembles the letter it is replacing e.g. $t0ke.


Step 2: Add more characters to the base word

Pick at least 4 characters to add to the base word. e.g. add your initials (in capital letters) and the year you were born to what you already have from Step 1 - '$t0keGH1983'


Step 3: Store your password without worry

You can now safely write down a reminder for your password.

Using our previous example, you would write down city$0GH1983, where city$0 signifies the base word (e.g. 'Stoke'), the '$' symbol and the number '0' signifies the changes made to the base word, and 'GH1983' signifies the additional characters added in Step 2.


Even written down, this password reference serves as a reminder of the complete password without revealing your password to roaming eyes.


SPAM (Junk Mail)


Stop junk emails – or ‘spam’ – by taking a few simple precautions and by using a spam filter.


  • Try to avoid opening spam emails and clicking on links in spam messages.

  • Don’t buy anything from a spammer. Not only do you risk comprising your security and infecting your computer with malware - viruses and so on - you also reward and encourage the spammers.

  • Don’t be tempted to reply. The mailbox is probably unread.

  • Don’t threaten the spammer. Some mails will be seen and spammers have rights too. Threatening messages could expose you to legal action.

  • Avoid ‘unsubscribe’ options. Cynically, spammers often include an ‘unsubscribe’ link. Far from removing the menace, clicking it will confirm that your address is active and probably attract even more spam.

  • Use a disposable email address. You could use this account especially for buying online or writing to newsgroups. If you find that you are getting a lot of spam at this address, you can simply delete it and set up another.

  • Be wary about giving out your main email address. If in doubt, it is a good idea to use a disposable address (see above).

  • Never reveal your email address on your website. If you have a website, putting your email address on it will be easy fodder for a ‘spambot’ that is harvesting addresses. You could use a web contact form instead.

  • Munging. A simple but effective technique where you present your address in a way that people can easily work out but which will fool spambots. They will look for a pattern, such as a@b.com. Writing the address as ‘a at b dot com’ would probably evade them.


Many of the remaining messages can be blocked using a spam filter. ISPs (internet service providers) are increasingly providing the service, as well as some email programs. Be aware that some filters operate a ‘whitelisting’ system – in other words, you have to actively mark an email address as ‘not spam’ or messages will go straight into a folder entitled ‘Spam’ or ‘Junk’.


I have seen people overlook important emails because of this, although they could still retrieve them from the junk folder. Be sure to mark known email addresses as ‘not spam’ from the outset!


Remember that if an account becomes overwhelmed with spam, despite all these measures, you can always delete it.


© http://www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/guides/stopping-spam-emails

Hoax Emails


Do not open any suspicious emails! If you are unsure about the contents of an email (e.g. suspected virus or hacker threat) try 'googling' the email subject or attachment file name.  You can also report the mail as SPAM.

What to watch out for:

  • Bad spelling and/or poor grammar in an email claiming to represent a company, royalty, a prize agency, whatever.

  • Unsolicited commercial or personal request email. Do you even know of this company or person? If the name seems unfamiliar and you don't recall ever signing up to the company or sharing details with this individual, be suspicious upon receipt of such an email.

  • Asking for money. Always start from the grounds that a request for money is to be treated with suspicion until proven otherwise. Perhaps your daughter is vacationing in the land of Grail and it's not unknown for her to ask for more funds to fly home. But if you suddenly get an email from her claiming she has lost everything and needs thousands of dollars to bribe local officials, be wary; mass emails claiming such distress are not uncommon, using hacked email accounts.

  • The email is full of promises to reward you. Promises of this type are rather personal; you should be very wary of such emails.

  • The email is from somewhere you don't live, like Nigeria or Singapore and you either know nobody there or it's not the email of anyone you do know there. Put up your red flag.


© http://www.wikihow.com/Spot-an-Email-Hoax-or-Phishing-Scam



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Username Protection


Users must not let anyone log in as them or give anyone their password, as letting other people know your password leaves your account open to abuse. 

It is the user's responsibility to safeguard personal information and passwords, to choose passwords wisely and change them periodically and to follow any security policies and procedures related to access. Appropriate precautions should be taken by all to ensure the security of passwords and prevent others from obtaining access to an SGFLCloud account.

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