Join Jess Stratton for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating an online account safely, part of Learning Computer Security and Internet Safety.
- When you sign up for a new online service, you can save yourself some junk email in your inbox by being proactive when you're signing up. Here's a typical sign up box online. It usually contains places where you can put your first name, your email and your password, and you can create a user name. I did talk in a previous video about how to create a good and safe user name, so I'm not gonna do that here. But right now, I want to talk about this little box, right above the Register button. This is called the opt in or opt out button.
This is going to designate whether or not you're opting in to receive emails and promotions and newsletters, or junk mail, from people that you register with online. Sometimes you have to check the box not to receive the mail. Sometimes you have to un-check the box not to receive the mail. Or maybe you do want it and you do have to check the box. You need to read it very carefully to make sure you end up with the choice that you want. Let's look at another one. Here's another typical sign in box to create an account online. This one already had the radio button checked off.
So, if you're going through this list and you click the blue Create account button, you've automatically opted in to getting email promotions from this company. So, it's up to you to realize that you need to un-check this first. Let's look at one more. This is a store log in. When you create an account here, on the left hand side you can put in all the usual details like your name, your email address, and a security question. Now, most likely, you can fill in these answers and then immediately go and click the red create profile button.
But here, the opt in and opt out section is on the right hand side. It's very easy to miss. In fact, if the radio button's already selected, then you would automatically be signed up for that list. So, it's worth creating a quick glance around the page to make sure that you didn't accidently opt in to something that you didn't want to get. Opting out at the time that you're registering for an account, can save you lots of junk mail in your inbox. So, it's worth taking a few extra seconds to opt in or opt out based on how you want it.
- Installing updates
- Using antivirus software and protecting against viruses
- Enabling Windows Firewall
- Using password-management software
- Encrypting files that contain sensitive data
- Securing your router and protecting the SSID
- Understanding the signs of a secure website
- Checking settings for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari
- Unsubscribing from email subscriptions
- Reviewing site privacy settings
- Browsing on a public computer
- Understanding cookies
- Protecting other people's names and locations
- Fact-checking email warnings