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Personal Security

Dealing with incidents of digital abuse is one thing; dealing with personal campaigns of abuse and harassment that affect your life is another. Protecting your identity and safeguarding personal information is something you should do to reduce the risk of being targeted in real life.

We have listed some important tips here to ensure you keep your identity and personal details safe and secure.

Messaging and live chat

  • Never reveal personal details like your full name, date of birth, address, names of close friends or relatives, phone number etc to anyone. It is easy to become relaxed and open when talking to someone who appears to be friendly, so always be aware that the person you are talking to may not be alone, or be who they say they are. This also applies to people that you know in real life. They may not reveal information about you on purpose but they may do so indirectly or have their own security breached, which may reveal something about you.
  • Skype is a popular way of chatting with people and is used widely by gamers. Skype handles can be risky as someone can impersonate you or hack your account causing problems for you and your contacts. Microsoft provide support for Skype account holders and can freeze your account and help you to regain control. You can find out more about Skype support here.

Password Security

Creating safe passwords is very important. Using names, exchanging letters for numbers/symbols etc is one way of doing this but it can be difficult to manage or even remember them without storing them on your computer, which again carries certain risks from hacking. One simple way to create a secure password is to use a number of random words strung together as this is very hard to crack. (If you don’t want to store your passwords on your computer then you should write them down, but only if you keep the piece of paper safe and treat it like your passport or wallet.)

Example Password 

Take four common but unrelated words such as, wheel sausages monkey ladder. This random phrase can be remembered by creating a story that is easy to remember and recall the words – “I was on my bike (wheel) returning from the butchers (sausages) when a monkey grabbed my bag and ran up a ladder”. This is known as visualization and association. You visualize the story and associate it with the key words. Alternatively, you could just write it down and keep it safe!!

Secure Email Accounts

For added security and peace of mind you can create email accounts for specific sites or services. You may want one for your social media and another for games. This means you do not run the risk of someone accessing your personal email contacts through a gaming site or blog that you are visiting. 

Review Regularly

Change your password regularly. Put a note on your calendar every couple of months to remind you.This will give you added peace of mind, especially if you have been targeted in the past or suspect someone may be planning to! (Don’t forget to create a new password and never use one you have used in the past.)

Be vigilant

Nobody wants to be on a constant state of alert but you should always be aware of the pitfalls and take the necessary steps to ensure your own security. Taking the steps we recommend will help you to stay secure online whether you are into games, blogs, social media or all of them at the same time! You can use the methods above to manage and control your personal security as you see fit and we would advise that you ensure all social media settings and preferences are also treated in the same way.

  

For more information about social media security settings please visit our Social Networks and Apps section of the Help Centre.