Dorchester, MOOCs and staying safe online

Dorchester – funny sign

While looking around Dorchester recently, I chanced upon an amusing juxtaposition of signs; worth sharing, I thought.

I wonder what is metered!

I wonder what is supposed to be metered!

MOOCs and the web

I have been taking part in a couple of MOOCs recently. Incidentally, MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course. There are hundreds of them available now from a variety of sources. The two I am taking are both to do with the web. One from UK, and one from Australia. Both are free, as are all MOOCs as far as I know. These courses have made me more aware of both the pluses and minuses of the web, and I have been surprised by a few things that I thought I would share.

The first is the rather scary story about the things that are now possible, and actually happening. The web address title is self explanatory

The second is thinking about how much information people are now prepared to share through social media and how vulnerable they are in consequence. Even if you do not engage in social media, there seems to me to be a moderate level of ignorance amongst people I meet about how to use the web safely. That being so, I thought I should share some information.

How to stay safe while using the web

The following guidance comes from the National Crime Agency website

Here are some of the best ways to keep safe online:
•    No bank or card issuer will contact you by email and ask you to enter all your personal and financial details online. If you receive a message like this, report it to your bank, then delete it
•    If you receive an email from an unknown source, do not open it and do not click on any attachments
•    Make sure that your anti-virus software is up to date
•    Install an anti-spyware package 
•    Always use a firewall
•    Ensure that your software is up to date

I use Microsoft Security Essentials as protection. It is free but provides both anti-virus and anti spyware protection. I also have a firewall provided by Microsoft. I allow software updates to happen automatically for this programme and for my operating software.

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