The purpose of this site is to provide simple advice on making sure that
your experience of using a computer on the Internet is as safe as it can
be. We've provided a number of resources here to help you understand
and add to the security of your home PC when it is attached to the Internet.
Security Resource Sites
We realise that there is a lot of detail offered here - don't feel you
need to digest them all at once. These include resource sites which cover
general issues and contain tests you can perform on your system.
Safe Computing Leaflet
Health and Safety Resource sites
OU Technical Support Information
Technical support on setup and installation issues for
OU Course software is offered by the
Student Helpdesk Monday - Sunday from 9.00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m (UK time).
NB: The LTS Student Helpdesk does not supply advice or help on the
'Safe Computing' issues covered in this website
Operating Systems and software
Checks, scans and updates
Spyware and 'Phishing'
'Spyware' is an increasing threat. It's software that gets planted on
your PC which then observes your patterns of behaviour, reporting them
back to a central point. In its worst form, it can slow your PC to a
crawl. One clear indication that you may have a bad Spyware infection is
the frequent popping up of advertisements at random that you haven't
asked for. Another is that when you try to install an anti-Spyware
product like the ones mentioned below, the system won't allow you to -
the Spyware actually tries to 'block' the installation of diagnostic and
removal software. Some Spyware versions check your keystrokes in an attempt to grab
your username and confidential
passwords leading to what is called 'Phishing'. Some 'Spyware' is detected and trapped by anti-virus systems, but not all.
It's a growing area of concern.
Malicious emails can try and tempt you into opening a web page designed
to steal your personal details.
Try taking a
'phishing' test now and see if you can tell which emails are real and which
'Social Networking sites such as 'Facebook' are a rich source of
information for potential Identity Theft. Read the
advice from Sophos on how to minimise this risk.