Staying safe online

It is important to know how to stay safe online, for example when shopping online, or chatting on social networks.

Computers connected to the internet may be at risk from online scams, or 'viruses' which can spread via email or downloaded files. You can protect yourself by keeping your personal information safe:

  • Be careful who you give your personal information to and how
  • Make it as difficult as possible to crack your personal passwords
  • Always destroy or securely store personal documents
  • Don’t respond to unsolicited emails
  • Protect your personal computers, tablets and smart phones with anti-virus software.

How to protect yourself from scams

  • Don’t open emails from people you do not know and be especially careful about opening attachments in these emails
  • Don’t send private information when using public Wi-Fi unless you are using a secure website
  • Do not give your mobile or online banking details to anyone else and don’t store them one your device
  • When making online payments, always make sure the website are using is secure 
  • Be wary of clicking on links in suspicious text messages or emails – they may contain viruses or other programmes that are harmful to your device 
  • Only download apps from official app stores, such as Apple iTunes, Android Marketplace or Google Play Store – downloading from unofficial or unknown sources can put your devices at risk from viruses
  • Be suspicious of scammers trying to steer you away from official online shopping sites and asking you to use unusual payment methods

If you spot a scam or have been subject to a scam always report it to ActionFraud:

Action Fraud
Phone: 0300 123 2040

Further information




Useful contacts:

Age UK Richmond Community Services
Phone: 020 8744 1965

Get Safe Online