Ofcom research: people want advice about online privacy.

16th November 2009

The World Wide Web is possibly one of the greatest creations ever made. It can be used for many different means; a giant encyclopaedia, a portal for all the best media, it can be even be used to do your shopping from the comfort of your home.

It is also fairly daunting for the newest users, allowing users to easily become lost in its giant cyber maze. What websites are giving genuine information? Which websites are there to rip you off? Most importantly, is your personal information safe?

The majority of the time, the answer to that question is yes. Most of the websites on the website are genuine businesses looking to provide you with the service or product you require.

There are some websites, however, who look to rip people off and steal your personal data. A recent Ofcom research found that 54% of teenagers and young people need help with keeping their personal information safe and secure.

So how can this be done? How can you ensure that your private data is, in fact, kept private?

Step 1) If you are purchasing an item or service, always check that the website you are buying from has a genuine working telephone number. This can then be dialled and you can be able to contact them, should anything go wrong. Most well established business have non-geographic telephone numbers, such as 0345 numbers, so you can be assured that the company is genuine.

Step 2) Banks and businesses dealing with personal information, almost NEVER ask you to reveal your person information by email. If you receive an email asking for your PIN number or password, report the email to your bank or social networking site.

Step 3) Do your research. If a company seems dodgy, it most probably is. Do a Google search and read reviews about the website or see if it has any certificates that show that it’s genuine.