Stay Safe Online

The internet is part of every day life and is a valuable tool for use in the home, the workplace and schools.

However, the internet does pose risks. In this section you will find advice from Durham Constabulary on internet security, including:

How to protect your child / children online including advice on social networking sites

Dependence on the Internet has increased extensively since its creation. It is used in the workplace, at home and in schools as a valuable resource tool.

However, the Internet does have risks. In this section you can find help and advice on protecting children on the Internet.

Children are using the Internet more and more to complete homework and keep in touch with friends through Social Networking sites such as Facebook, Bebo and many others.

There is a wealth of information available to them, however some material may not be suitable for children’s viewing. There is also an added threat from other adults on line who may want to take advantage of your child in some way.

Please find below some top advice for keeping your children safe while surfing the Internet:

  • Please ensure the computer or laptop is used in a family room, where access to the Internet can be supervised
  • Agree some rules with your child regarding access and the sort of sites they can use
  • Use filter software to block out unsuitable websites
  • Discuss and educate your children about being safe online and the dangers they could be subject to. Please visit for more advice and resources to help inform your child
  • Stress the importance of them not giving out personal details and not arranging to meet strangers they have met online without a parent/guardian present
  • Make your child aware of cyber bulling and encourage good behaviour on social networking sites
  • Encourage your child to speak with you if they are unhappy with anything they have viewed on the Internet so further filters can be put in place or if they are concerned about someone who has contacted them online
  • Take an interest in what your child is viewing and who they are speaking to online.


How to stay safe as an adult on the internet and protect your privacy

There are many bargains and benefits to be had shopping online. Although there is some important security advice that should be taken into consideration on every occasion to ensure you stay safe while you shop.

There are numerous scammers who become more sophisticated every day. Therefore, consumers shopping online need to become more vigilant and wary as to the pitfalls.

Advice and guidelines for shopping online;

  • The hacker or code writer is relying upon the fact that you become complacent and don’t keep your security systems up to date. For this reason it is very important to keep your anti-virus products up to date. This reduces the likelihood of malicious code or key-logging software running on your computer without your knowledge
  • Don’t ever select the remember my password option when registering online as your passwords are then stored on the PC, often in plain text, and are the first thing that a fraudster will target. If you were to ever loose or have your PC stolen then the passwords would also go with it
  • Ensure that your credit cards are registered with your card provider’s online security services such as Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode
  • Use only one card for online shopping, maintaining a limit on the card as low as possible, or even use a top-up card for online purchasing
  • Use a credit card and not a debit card. The banks provide security guarantees with a credit card that are not given with a debit card
  • Check your statements regularly, if there is any sign of irregular activity, report it straight a way
  • Always check for the little padlock symbol somewhere in the browser before entering your card details
  • Check the site’s privacy policy for details of how your personal information will be used and only provide the minimum of personal information, especially in online forms
  • Don’t use links from spam e-mail to purchase goods and never rely on customers’ testimonials. They could be part of the organisation’s marketing strategy and may not necessarily be factual
  • The golden rule of commerce is still the same as it ever was – if the offer looks too good to be true, it probably is!​