This Guide was developed to provide appropriate, targeted and local information for older women in the ACT about staying safe online. This is because older women in the ACT are increasingly using online technology to access information and services, manage finances and assets, communicate with family and friends, and access social networking and dating sites. Without the right knowledge, older women may be vulnerable to scams and cyber abuse.

It’s easy to learn how to protect yourself online. This Guide contains straightforward information in one place about how to protect your computer from viruses and unauthorised access, how to protect your privacy on social media web sites, where to get help if you don’t feel safe online, as well as some of the most common internet scams and how to recognise them.

You can’t—and don’t need to—learn about every trick out there. You just need to take the right precautions.

You can click on each of the posts below our Top 10 Tips to learn more about particular topics.

WCHM’s Top 10 Tips for Staying Safe Online

  • Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computer .

  • Turn on automatic updates on your system so that your computer automatically downloads security updates and fixes.

  • Don’t open unsolicited or junk emails. Delete them straight away.

  • If you receive a junk email and open it, don’t click on links or open any attachments contained in the email.

  • Never share online passwords with anyone for any reason.

  • If you purchase products online, only pay for items via a website’s secure payment system. Check that the payment webpage address begins with ‘https’ and there is a closed padlock symbol in the address bar.

  • Check that any online shopping, auction and classifieds websites you use are reputable.

  • Do not click on links in advertisements posted on social media. Use a search engine to search for a webpage and establish if the company is legitimate.

  • Update the privacy settings on your social media accounts .

  • Many internet-based scams start with a phone call, so do not respond to unsolicited phone calls asking for personal or financial information, even if they claim to be from a known organisation such as your phone or utility company. If you suspect the call is real, contact the business yourself through a known number to check.

Identify Theft and Financial Scams

Learn how to spot and avoid scams designed to trick you into giving away money and personal information.

Romance Scams

Many wonderful potential partners are using dating websites, but so are thousands of convincing con artists. Learn how to tell them apart.

Privacy Settings, Social Media and Online Bullying

Learn how to adjust your privacy settings, create strong passwords and avoid being harassed online.

Viruses and Hacking

An overview of computer hacking, anti-virus software and how to turn on automatic updates on your computer.

Computer Services for Older Canberrans

Computer classes for older people in Canberra and other useful resources.

Where to Get Help

What to do if you think you might have fallen victim to an internet scam.

References

WCHM is grateful to the following websites whose information…

Glossary

The most important terms you need to know to navigate the internet with confidence.