Sunday, 27 February 2011

Are you safe online?

Complete our 10 minute questionnaire to discover how vulnerable you are…

Section 1:

For each question choose the most suitable answer, (a, b, c or d)

1. Do you have any accounts with Social Networking web sites,
(such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc)?
a. None
b. 1
c. 2 or 3, I think
d. 4 or more. I love Social Networking!

2. How many “Friends” do you have on your main Social Networking account?
a. Less than 10 (and I’m lonely)
b. 10 – 50
c. 51-250
d. Absolutely loads. I’m everyone’s friend!

3. Have you ever posted on any blogs?
a. None
b. 1
c. 2-10
d. So much to say, so little time…

4. Have you ever set up any photo sharing galleries?
a. None
b. 1
c. 2-10
d. More than 10

5. Have you ever posted your CV to any employment web sites?
a. None
b. 1
c. 2-5
d. I really need that new job!

6. Have you ever set up any accounts with online dating sites?
a. None
b. 1
c. 2-5
d. I refuse to say!

7. Do any teenage children have access to your computer?
a. No
b. They are told not to use my computer
c. Yes, I allow them use of the computer in the living room
d. My kids have their own computer in their bedroom

8. How often do you use online auction sites, such as eBay?
a. Never
b. Once a year, or so
c. Up to 10 times a year
d. I buy most of my clothes on eBay!

9. Do you play online games?
a. None
b. 1
c. 2 or 3
d. I live for internet gaming!

10. How many different passwords do you have for online sites?
a. 3 or 4
b. 2
c. 1
d. Too many too count. I keep them written down.

Add up the number of answers of each letter.
Each a = 0 points
Each b = 1 point
Each c = 3 points
Each d = 5 points

Total Points Section 1 =

Section 2:

For each question answer Yes or No (Ignore banking or government websites).

1. When using web sites do you give your real name? (Social networking sites, blogs, forums, online gaming, CV posting, photo sharing, etc)
□ Yes □ No

2. Have you posted your real date of birth on Facebook or other Social web sites?
□ Yes □ No

3. On Social Networking sites do you post your home town or schools attended?
□ Yes □ No

4. Do you have only one email address for use on web sites?
□ Yes □ No

5. “I have never adjusted my Privacy settings on a Social Networking site.”
□ Yes □ No

6. “I post something online, on average, once or more a day?”
□ Yes □ No

7. “I must have an anti-virus programme, but I have no idea if it is up-to-date”
□ Yes □ No

Each “Yes” = 2 points
Each “No” = 0 points

Total Points Section 2 =

Add all of your points together to give a Grand Total.

0-15 points LOW Risk
Well done! Carry on as you are and try to teach others to do the same.

16- 35 points FAIRLY Risky
Consider upping your security considerably by following the hints below.

Over 35 points You are a TARGET!
Please remove me from your Friends Lists and your email address book!
Spend all of your money now before someone else does.


• Have at least 2 different passwords for online use - made up of CAPITAL letters, numb3rs, lowercase letters and punctuation marks!?* (Such as pA55w0rd.12!)

• Set up a “throw away” email address for giving to online sites where you aren’t that worried if they can email you. (You will have to have access to that email address in order to verify website accounts initially.) Hotmail is useful for this.

On sites such as Facebook
o Remove your year of birth. Preferably give the site a false date of birth.
o Do not post information such as home town, schools attended, email address, home address
o Find the Privacy Settings and restrict access to your personal information and posts as much as possible
o Only accept as “Friends” people that you actually know and trust
o Never use Apps which ask if you are willing to share your data (and therefore your Friends data) with the application.

• Use a pseudonym when setting up online accounts. And give your mother a pseudonymous maiden name for your own online use.

• Remove address and date of birth from CVs before uploading to Job Sites

• Try using AA1 1AA as your postcode and 0000 000000 as your phone number

• Google your own name to check what information is in the public domain

• On any web site that wants your money, look for https and the Padlock symbol

• Use only trusted online retailers. Google for information on any others first

• Add all of your telephone numbers to the Telephone Preference Service

• Keep your anti-virus programme up to date (and make sure it isn’t Norton)


• Trust Facebook or any other similar website!

• Post anything online that you would not wish a total stranger to know about you

• Rely on your anti-virus programme to fully protect you

• Respond to spam emails (unless you want even more spam)

• Use children’s, partners or pet’s names as passwords.

• Write down passwords anywhere close to the computer

• Forget that what goes online, stays online!

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The IT Dept offers computer support services in Lancashire, including Monthly On-Site or Remote Support Contracts; Secure Online Data Backup; Domain Hosting; Server and Desktop Sales; Software Supply & Installation. We cover all of Lancashire, including Chorley, Preston, Blackburn, Darwen, Bolton, Wigan, Blackpool, etc.
© Michael Donkin 2011